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BR  1700  .H6  5  1845  "~v7Z~ 
Hook,  Walter  Farquhar,  179£ 

1875. 
An  ecclesiastical  biography 


A> 


ECCLESIASTICAL    BIOGRAPHY, 


CONTAINING    THE 


fttbea  of  %lncitnt  jFatfjera  an&  f&o&ern  Efomes, 


INTERSPERSED    WITH     NOTICES    OF 


HERETICS    AND    SCHISMATICS, 


FORMING 


A    BRIEF    HISTORY    OF    THE    CHURCH    IN    EVERY    AGE. 


BY 

WALTER    FARQUHAR    HOOK,    D.D. 

VICAR  OF   LEEDS. 


VOL.    IL. 


LONDON : 

P.  AND  j.  rivington; 

PARKER,   OXFORD  J    J.  AND  J.  J.  DEIGHTON,  CAMBRIDGE 

T.  HARRISON,  LEEDS. 


1846 


LEEDS  :    G.  CRAWSHAW,  PRINTER. 


PREFACE. 


This  Work  will  be  continued  in  Monthly  Parts, 
and  be  ready,  as  before,  for  delivery  with  the  maga- 
zines. It  is  considered  by  many  desirable  to  receive 
the  work  in  Parts,  as  it  enables  them,  without 
difficulty,  to  read  it  through,  and  so  to  obtain  an 
acquaintance  with  Ecclesiastical  History,  as  well  as 
with  the  character  and  principles  of  our  chief  Saints 
and  Divines.  Arrangements  have  been  made  to  pub- 
lish each  future  Part  so  as  to  render  it  complete  in 
itself;  that  is  to  say,  any  biography  which  is  com- 
menced will  be  given  entire,  although  the  average 
•number  of  pages  (60)  be  exceeded,  a  proportionate 
deduction  being  made  from  the  number  of  pages  in 
the  succeeding  Part.  The  price  is  fixed  as  low  as 
possible,  and  unless  there  were  many  subscribers  to 
the  work,  it  could  not  be  maintained. 


PREFACE. 

It  was  stated  in  the  former  volume  that,  although 
the  work  is  alphabetic  ally  arranged,  a  table  would  be 
given,  so  that  it  might  be  read  chronologically ;  and 
although  the  two  first  letters  of  the  alphabet  are  not 
yet  completed,  the  reader  will  perceive  from  the 
following  table,  that  if  he  reads  the  Lives  chrono- 
logically, he  will  have  already  a  history  of  the 
Church,  or  of  some  considerable  portion  of  it,  in 
almost  every  century.  Only  those  names  are  inserted 
in  this  table  which  belong  to  personages  more  or  less 
engaged  in  the  public  transactions  of  their  age. 


TABLE. 

CENTURY 

III. 

CENTURY  VIII. 

St  Anthony. 

Alcuin. 

St  Alban. 

CENTURY  X. 

CENTURY 

IV. 

(Elfric. 

St  Athanasius. 

St  Ambrose. 

CENTURY  XI. 

St  Augustine. 
St  Basil. 
Arius. 

Aldred. 
Anselm. 

Aerius 
Aetius. 

CENTURY  XII. 

Apolinarius. 

St  Bernard. 

Arsenius. 

Alexander  of  Blois 

Basil  of  Ancyra. 

Baldwin. 

CENTURY 

Y. 

Barri. 
Becket. 

St  Benedict. 

Breuys. 

CENTURY 

VI. 

Abelard. 

Arnold  of  Brescia. 

Augustine  of  Canterbury. 

CENTURY 

VII. 

CENTURY  XIII. 

Adrian. 

Albertus  Magnus 

Aidan. 

Thomas  Aquinas 

Aldhelm. 

Agnelli. 

Bede. 

Boniface  of  Canterbury 

Benedict  Biscop 

Bonaventure. 

TABLE. 


CENTURY  XIV. 

Andreae. 

Arundel. 

Arminius. 

Bradwarden. 

Barlow. 

Biddle. 

Ailly. 

Brown. 

CENTURY  XV. 

CENTURY   XVII 

Beaufort,  Cardinal. 

Bancroft. 

Bo-urcher. 

Andrewes. 

Adrian  de  Castello. 

Abbot. 

Aleander. 

Alleine. 

Bassarion. 

Allestree. 

Ambrose. 

CENTURY  XVI. 

Arnauld. 

Beaton. 

Asheton. 

Beccold. 

Baronius. 

Beza. 

Barrow 

Bilney. 

Barwick. 

Bonner. 

Basire 

Bourn. 

Baxter. 

Bale. 

CENTURY  XVII 

Aylmer. 

Alan. 

Atterbury. 

Baro. 

Bedell. 

Barnes. 

Berkeley. 

Adamson. 

Beveridge. 

Agricola. 

Bossuet. 

Ainsworth. 

Blackburne. 

Alley. 

Blackwell. 

Alsop. 

Alexander. 

Anderson. 

Badcock. 

ECCLESIASTICAL    BIOGRAPHY 


Basil,  Saint.  Saint  Basil  the  great  was  born  at 
Csesarea,  in  Cappadocia,  about  the  year  329.  His  parents 
were  person s  of  rank  and  wealth,  distinguished  yet  more 
by  their  Christian  virtues,  who  had  fled  to  the  wilds  of 
Pontus,  during  the  Maximinian  persecution.  His  grand- 
father on  the  mother's  side  had  received  the  crown  of 
martyrdom.  His  father,  whose  profession  was  that  of 
rhetoric,  was  named  Basil,  and  his  mother's  name  was 
Emmelia  Under  them  he  received  a  Christian  education, 
but  he  expresses  himself  as  peculiarly  indebted  for  the 
formation  of  his  mind,  to  his  grandmother  Macrina.  In 
writing  to  the  Church  of  Neocsesarea,  in  after  years,  he 
says,  "  what  clearer  evidence  can  there  be  of  my  faith,  than 
that  I  was  brought  up  by  my  grandmother,  blessed 
woman,  who  came  from  you?  I  mean  the  celebrated 
Macrina,  who  taught  me  the  words  of  the  blessed  Gregory  ; 
(Gregory  Thaumaturgus ;)  which,  as  far  as  memory  had 
preserved  down  to  her  day,  she  cherished  herself,  while 
she  fashioned  and  formed  me,  being  yet  a  child,  upon  the 
doctrines  of  piety."  And  afterwards :  "I  have  many 
subjects  of  self-reproach,  but  thanks  to  the  grace  of  God, 
I  have  never  given  in  to  any  false  doctrine,  nor  varied  in 
my  sentiments  ;  having  always  preserved  those  which  my 
blessed  mother  and  my  grandmother  Macrina  inspired  in 
me  :  these  good  principles  have  developed  themselves  with 
my  understanding  as  I  have  advanced  in  years,  but  the 
seed  was  sown  in  me  in  my  earliest  youth,  and  such  as  it 

VOL.   II.  A 


2  BAS. 

was,  such  has  it  brought  forth.''  It  is  sometimes  said  that 
the  sons  of  widows  generally  turn  out  well :  and  this  is 
doubtless  because  of  the  many  promises  of  God  to  the  father- 
less and  widow :  but  in  viewing  second  causes,  we  may  say 
that  it  is  because  so  much  of  female  tenderness,  mixed  with 
consistent  discipline,  is  brought  to  bear  on  the  manly 
character.  No  really  great  man,  certainly  no  good  man, 
can  exist,  unless  the  heart  has  been  cultivated  as  well  as 
the  intellect ;  unless  to  a  powerful  understanding  be  united 
an  affectionate  disposition  :  aucl  of  the  two,  the  cultivation 
of  the  heart  in  man,  the  encouragement  of  the  more  gentle 
sympathies  and  sentiments  of  our  nature,  is  even  more 
important  than  the  exercise  of  the  mental  faculties  ; 
though  the  character  cannot  be  properly  formed,  unless  to 
both  points  attention  be  directed.  This  will  account  for 
the  fact  that  almost  every  man  distinguished  for  a  union 
of  virtue  with  genius,  has  been  able  to  trace  his  excellence 
to  maternal,  or  at  least  to  female  superintendence  in  his 
education.  To  this  rule,  we  have  seen  that  St  Basil 
formed  no  exception. 

St  Basil  was  eminently  happy  also  in  his  father,  who, 
when  he  found  him  sufficiently  grounded  in  the  truth, 
sent  him,  for  the  further  education  of  his  mind,  first  to 
Caesarea,  and  then  to  Constantinople.  At  the  former 
place  he  became  acquainted  with  St  Gregory  Nazianzen, 
with  whom  he  renewed  his  friendship  on  his  removal  to 
Athens,  where  they  both  met  again,  being  sent  there,  as 
we  should  say,  "  to  complete  their  education,"  though  in 
truth  the  education  of  a  Christian  mind  never  ceases. 
The  Christian  Church  is  a  school  in  which  we  take  lessons 
in  godliness  as  long  as  life  lasts.  The  characters  of  Basil 
and  of  Gregory  were  so  different,  that  later  in  life  mis- 
understandings occurred  between  them,  without,  however, 
any  permanent  violation  of  that  friendship  which  was 
founded  on  a  mutual  admiration  of  each  other's  excel- 
lence. But  the  friendship,  it  would  seem,  commenced, 
and  perhaps  was  kept  up,  by  Gregory's  extreme  admiration 
of  Basil ;  although  Basil  returned  Gregory's  affection,  the 


BAS.  3 

enthusiasm  of  friendship  was  on  Gregory's  side.  It  was 
in  the  year  351  that  Basil  entered  the  university  of 
Athens  and  found  Gregory  there,  ready  and  anxious  to 
protect  his  friend  from  those  little  annoyances  to  which 
fresh-men  were  exposed,  but  which  the  sedate  disposition 
of  Basil  was  likely  to  resist.  St  Gregory  gives  us  an 
interesting  account  of  the  mode  of  living  among  the 
young  men  of  Athens,  and  in  his  funeral  oration  on  the 
death  of  St  Basil,  he  adverts  with  his  usual  enthusiasm 
to  days  gone  by  :  "  How  dear,"  he  says,  "  is  Athens  to  my 
remembrance  !  It  was  there  that  I  learned  really  to  know 
Basil.  I  went  there  in  search  of  knowledge,  and  I  found 
happiness.  We  soon  became  every  thing  to  each  other  ; 
the  same  roof  sheltered  as  the  same  table  served  us ;  even 
the  same  thoughts  occupied  our  minds.  We  pursued  our 
studies  with  equal  ardour ;  we  each  sought  success,  that 
great  object  of  jealousy  among  men,  and  yet  envy  was 
unknown  between  us.  We  disputed,  we  argued,  not  for 
the  honour  of  pre-eminence,  but  for  the  pleasure  of  yield- 
ing it.  It  seemed  as  if  our  bodies  were  animated  by  the 
same  soul.  Our  daily  occupation  was  the  practice  of 
virtue  :  the  care  of  living  for  our  eternal  hopes,  and  that  of 
detaching  ourselves  from  this  world,  before  we  should  be 
called  upon  to  quit  it.  Nothing  was  more  noble  in  our 
eyes  than  the  endeavour  to  exalt  each  other  above  material 
things,  and  increase  our  faith.  We  estranged  ourselves 
from  such  of  our  fellow  students  as  were  irregular  in  their 
conduct  or  language,  and  associated  only  with  those  whose 
conversation  might  be  profitable  to  us.  Our  feet  were 
familiar  with  only  two  streets  ;  one  to  the  church,  and  to 
the  holy  teachers  and  doctors  who  there  attended  the 
service  of  the  altar,  aud  nourished  the  flock  of  Christ  with 
the  food  of  life  ;  the  other,  which  we  held  in  less  esteem, 
to  the  schools,  where  we  listened  to  our  masters  in  the 
sciences.  Spectacles,  diversions,  and  banquets,  we  aban- 
doned to  those  who  were  unfortunate  enough  to  take 
pleasure  in  them.     The  sole  business  of  our  existem 


4  BAS. 

most  glorious  prerogative  in  our  eyes,  was  to  be  called 
Christians,  and  to  be  such." 

In  the  year  357  Basil  left  Athens,  though  strongly 
urged  and  entreated  by  his  fellow-students,  and  even  his 
master,  to  remain  longer  among  them,  and  hastened, 
through  Constantinople,  to  Caesarea,  in  the  hope  of  seeing 
his  father,  who  was  dangerously  ill.  This  venerable 
parent  was  dead  before  his  arrival ;  and  settling  at 
Ceesarea  Basil  began  to  practise  at  the  bar.  The  success, 
and  even  adulation,  which  Basil  had  received  at  Athens, 
had  evidently  subjected  him  to  a  temptation  which  he 
found  it  the  more  difficult  to  overcome  when,  in  his  practice 
at  the  bar,  a  similar  success  and  admiration  attended  him. 
He  was  beginning  to  think  extravagantly  of  his  own 
abilities,  and  to  encourage  feelings  of  vanity,  (being  indeed 
not  only  eloquent  as  a  speaker,  but  equally  skilled  in 
languages,  science,  and  literature,)  when  he  found  a  timely 
monitor  in  his  sister  Macrina.  He  had  benefited  too 
much  by  female  instruction  in  his  childhood,  to  think 
scom  of  woman's  advice  in  his  later  years  ;  and  the  sister 
who  bore  his  venerated  grandmother's  name,  succeeded  in 
her  endeavours  to  awaken  him  to  a  sense  of  his  danger. 
St  Basil,  in  his  233rd  epistle,  describes  both  his  feelings 
and  his  course  of  conduct:  "After  long  time  spent  in 
vanity,  and  almost  the  whole  of  my  youth  vanishing  in  the 
idle  toil  of  studying  that  wisdom  which  God  has  made 
folly,  at  length,  roused  as  from  a  deep  sleep,  I  gazed  upon 
the  marvellous  light  of  Gospel  truth,  and  discerned  the 
unprofitableness  of  the  wisdom  taught  by  the  perishing 
authorities  of  this  world  ;  much  did  I  bewail  my  wretched 
life,  and  pray  that  guidance  would  be  vouchsafed  to  me 
for  an  entrance  into  the  doctrines  of  godliness.  And 
above  all  was  it  a  care  to  me  to  reform  rny  heart,  which 
the  long  society  of  the  corrupt  had  perverted.  So  when  I 
read  the  Gospel .  and  perceived  thence  that  the  best  start 
towards  perfection  was  to  sell  my  goods  and  share  them 
with  indigent  brethren,    and   altogether  to  be  reckless  of 


BAS. 

this  life,  and  to  rid  my  soul  of  all  sympathy  with  things 
on  earth,  I  earnestly  desired  to  find  some  brother  who  had 
made  the  same  choice,  and  who  might  take  the  voyage  with 
me  over  the  brief  waves  of  this  life.  Many  did  I  find  in 
Alexandria,  many  in  the  rest  of  Egypt,  and  in  Palestine 
in  Ccele-Syria  and  Mesopotamia,  whose  abstinence  and 
endurance  I  admired,  and  whose  constancy  in  prayer  L 
was  amazed  at,  how  they  overcame  sleep,  being  broken  by 
no  natural  necessity,  bearing  ever  a  high  and  free  spirit 
in  hunger  and  thirst,  in  cold  and  nakedness,  not  regarding 
the  body,  nor  enduring  to  spend  any  thought  upon  it,  but 
living  as  if  in  flesh  not  their  own ;  how  they  showed  in 
deed  what  it  is  to  sojourn  in  this  world  ;  what  it  is  to 
have  our  conversation  in  heaven.  Admiiing  and  extolling 
the  life  of  these  men,  who  could  so  in  deed  carry  about 
with  them  the  dying  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  I  desired  that  1 
myself,  as  far  as  I  could  attain,  might  be  an  imitator  of 
them." 

In  reference  to  the  determination  of  Basil,  to  adopt  a 
monastic  kind  of  life,  Mr  Newman  remarks,  "  that  in  the 
early  ages  it  was  scarcely  possible  to  attain  that  state  of  life 
which  a  pious  clergyman  desires  to  lead,  except  in  monastic 
institutions :  but  which  in  our  favoured  country,  where 
Christianity  has  been  long  established,  is,  in  its  substance, 
the  privilege  of  ten  thousand  parsonages  up  and  down  the 
land  /"  Who  does  not  wish  that  the  highly-gifted  writer 
of  the  passsage  just  quoted  would  always  thus  think  and 
speak  of  his  holy  mother,  the  venerated  church  of  Eng- 
land ;  and  that,  while  aware  of  the  disadvantages  under 
which  we  labour,  he  could  also  see  as  clearly  now,  as  when 
he  penned  this  passage,  the  many  advantages  with  which 
we  are  blessed  !  The  course  of  discipline  which  is  neces- 
sary in  one  age  of  the  Church,  may  not  be  expedient  in 
another,  though  the  principle  is  in  all  ages  the  same, — 
the  principle  of  self-discipline  and  self-denial,  for  the 
edification  of  our  souls  in  godliness,  and  the  promotion  of 
God's  glory. 

The  situation  which   St  Basil  cho^e  for  his  retreat  \^as 


BAS. 

a  desert  spot  in  Pontus.  In  this  retreat  he  had  several 
followers,  and  they  passed  their  time  in  devotional 
exercises,  works  of  charity,  and  the  study  of  sacred  litera- 
ture. Gregory  would  gladly  have  shared  his  retreat,  but 
was  retained  by  sacred  duties  in  the  bosom  of  his  family. 
In  answer  to  Basil's  urgent  invitation  to  join  him,  Gregory 
writes  thus  : 

"  I  have  not,  it  is  true,  stood  to  my  word  ;  having  pro- 
tested, ever  since  our  friendship  and  union  of  heart 
at  Athens,  that  I  would  be  your  companion,  and  follow  a 
strict  life  wdth  you.  Yet  I  act  against  my  wish :  duty  is 
annulled  by  duty,  the  duty  of  friendship  by  the  duty  of 

filial  reverence At  the  same  time,  I  still  shall  be 

able  to  perform  my  promise  in  a  measure,  if  you  will 
accept  thus  much.  I  will  come  to  you  for  a  time,  if,  in 
turn,  you  will  give  me  your  company  here  ;  thus  we  shall 
be  quits  in  friendly  service,  while  we  have  all  things 
common.  And  thus  I  shall  avoid  distressing  my  parents, 
without  losing  you." 

St  Basil  himself  gives  an  account  of  his  retreat,  which, 
though  Gregory  was  facetious  upon  it,  and  represents  some 
of  its  charms  as  owing  their  lustre  to  the  brightness  of  his 
friend's  imagination,  must  be  substantially  correct :  "What 
we  have  often  delighted  to  picture  in  our  imaginations,  it 
is  at  length  granted  me  to  see  in  reality.  I  have  before 
me  a  high  mountain  clothed  with  a  thick  forest,  watered 
on  the  north  side  by  fresh  and  limpid  streams  ;  at  the  foot 
of  this  mountain  is  spread  a  plain  perpetually  fertilized  by 
the  waters  which  fall  from  the  surrounding  heights,  whilst 
the  forest,  encircling  it  with  trees  of  every  variety,  self- 
planted,  in  all  the  wildness  of  nature,  serves  it  at  once  as 
a  boundary  and  a  defence.  The  island  of  Calypso  would 
appear  nothing  after  it,  though  Homer  admired  it,  above 
all  others,  for  its  beauty.  The  place  is  divided  into 
two  deep  valleys  :  on  one  side  the  river,  which  precipitates 
itself  from  the  j)eak  of  the  mountain,  forms  a  long  barrier 
in  its  course,  difficult  to  surmount ;  and  on  the  other  the 
wide  ridge  of  the  mountain,  which  communicates  with  the 


BAS.  7 

valley  only  by  a  few  winding  intricate  paths,  shuts  out  all 
passage, — there  is  but  one  means  of  access,  and  of  that 
we  are  the  masters.  My  dwelling  is  built  on  one  of  the 
slopes  of  the  mountain,  the  extremity  of  which  juts  out 
like  a  promontory.  From  it  I  survey  the  opening  plain, 
and  follow  the  course  of  the  river,  more  delightful  to  me 
than  the  Strymon  is  to  the  inhabitants  of  Amphipolis ; 
the  still  and  lazy  waters  of  the  Strymon,  indeed,  scarcely 
deserve  the  name  of  a  river :  but  this,  the  most  rapid  I 
have  ever  seen,  breaks  against  the  rocks,  and,  thrown  back 
again  by  them,  falls  headlong  into  foaming  waves,  and 
precipitates  itself  into  the  deep  gulph  below  ;  affording  at 
once  a  most  delightful  spectacle,  and  an  abundant  supply 
of  food,  for  there  is  an  astonishing  quantity  of  fish  in  its 
waters.  Shall  T  speak  of  the  fragrant  dews  of  the  earth, 
the  freshness  which  exhales  from  the  river?  Another 
would  describe  the  variety  of  the  flowers,  and  the  songs  of 
the  birds,  but  to  these  I  have  no  leisure  to  pay  attention. 
What  I  have  to  say  the  best  of  all  of  the  spot  is,  that, 
along  with  the  abundance  of  every  thing,  it  affords  like- 
wise, what  is  to  me  the  sweetest  of  all, — and  that  is. 
tranquillity.  It  is  not  only  far  removed  from  the  noise  of 
cities,  but  it  is  not  even  visited  by  travellers,  except  some- 
times by  a  few  hunters  who  come  among  us ;  for  we  also 
have  our  wild  beasts  :  not  the  bears  and  wolves  of  your 
mountains,  but  troops  of  stags,  herds  of  wild  goats,  hares, 
and  other  animals  as  inoffensive.  Pardon  me,  then,  for 
having  flown  to  this  asylum ;  Alcmeon  himself  stopped 
when  he  came  to  the  islands  of  the  Echinades." 

It  is  not,  however,  change  of  place  that  can  immediately 
give  change  of  heart ;  and  Basil,  with  his  characteristic 
frankness,  acknowledged  to  Gregory  in  another  letter,  that 
he  found  it  more  difficult  to  effect  this  than  he  had 
imagined. 

"I  recognize,"  says  he,  "in  the  sentiments  of  your 
letter  the  hand  which  has  traced  them,  as  in  looking  at  a 
child,  we  are  reminded  of  its  parents  by  a  family  likeness. 
You   write   to   me   that   the  place   I  have  chosen  for  my 


BAS. 

retreat  makes  no  difference  to  you  :  that  all  you  desire  is 
to  know  my  mode  of  life,  that  you  may  come  and  join  me 
in  it.  Such  a  thought  is  every  way  worthy  of  one  like 
yourself,  who  annexes  no  importance  to  the  things  of  this 
world,  in  comparison  with  the  beatitudes  which  are  pro- 
mised us  in  the  next.  '  How  do  I  pass,'  you  ask,  '  my 
days  and  nights  in  the  retirement  in  which  I  am  now 
living  '?'  Must  I  tell  you  ?  Alas  !  it  will  not  be  without 
confusion.  I  have  left  cities  and  their  turmoil  behind 
me.  I  have  renounced  every  thing  in  them  without 
regret,  but  I  have  not  yet  been  able  to  renounce  myself. 
I  compare  myself  to  voyagers  who  have  not  got  accustomed 
to  the  sea,  and  to  whom  the  motion  of  the  vessel  imparts 
the  most  uncomfortable  sensations,  because,  in  quitting 
land,  they  still  bring  on  board  with  them  the  bile  with 
which  their  stomach  was  overloaded.  This  is  exactly  tin- 
state  in  which  I  am.  As  long  as  ever  we  carry  about  with 
us  the  germs  of  the  maladies  that  torment  us,  the  place 
makes  no  difference  :  we  shall  find  every  where  the  same 
sorrowful  results.  I  will  confess  to  you,  then,  that  I  have 
not  yet  experienced  any  great  benefit  from  my  solitude. 
What,  then,  is  to  be  done,  and  how,  then,  ought  we  to 
act,  in  order  to  follow  faithfully  in  the  steps  of  the  Master 
who  has  opened  to  us  the  way  of  salvation,  saying,  '  If 
any  man  will  come  after  me,  let  him  deny  himself,  and  take 
up  his  cross,  and  follow  me.'  Thus  it  is  that  we  must 
act ;  we  must,  in  the  first  place,  labour  to  keep  our  minds 
in  a  calm  and  uniform  consistency.  When  the  eyes  are 
accustomed  to  wander  about  in  all  directions,  it  becomes 
impossible  to  fix  them  on  any  object  so  steadfastly  as  to 
consider  it  under  every  point  of  view  ;  yet  we  must  look 
at  it  earnestly,  to  make  it  out  entirely.  It  is  the  same 
with  tli;'  mind  ;  when  it  is  divided  by  the  solicitudes  of 
the  world,  it  cannot  concentrate  its  attention  upon  the 
determinate  nature  of  truth,  ....  He  who  is  not  yet 
yoked  in  the  bonds  of  matrimony,  is  harassed  by  frenzied 
cravings,  and  rebellious  impulses,  and  hopeless  attach- 
ments ;  he  who  has  found  his  mate  is  encompassed  with 


BAS.  9 

his  own  tumult  of  cares  :  if  he  is  childless,  there  is  desire 
of  children ;  has  he  children  ?  anxiety  about  their  educa- 
cation,  attention  to  his  wife,  care  of  his  house,  oversight 
of  his  servants,  misfortunes  in  trade,  quarrels  with  his 
neighbours,  lawsuits,  the  risks  of  the  merchant,  the  toil  of 
the  farmer.  Each  day,  as  it  comes,  darkens  the  soul  in 
its  own  way  :  and  night  after  night  takes  up  the  day's 
anxieties,  and  cheats  the  mind  with  illusions  in  accord- 
ance. Now  one  way  of  escaping  all  this  is  separation  from 
the  whole  world.  What  I  mean  by  the  expression,  separa- 
tion from  the  world,  is  not  merely  to  remove  the  body  to 
a  distance  from  it,  but  to  detach  all  our  affections  from 
it ;  to  relinquish  country,  home,  society,  business,  inter- 
ests, human  sciences ;  absolutely  to  divorce  ourselves 
from  all,  in  order  that  our  souls  may  be  entirely  at 
liberty  to  receive  the  impressions  the  Lord  may  be  pleased 
to  make  upon  them.  We  cannot  imprint  new  characters 
upon  wrax,  till  wTe  have  effaced  the  old  ones  :  in  the  same 
manner  the  divine  instructions  cannot  find  place  in  a 
heart  pre-occupied  by  all  the  ideas  connected  with  the 
usual  affairs  of  life. 

"  One  of  the  first  benefits  to  be  derived  from  retirement 
is  the  imposing  silence  on  the  disorderly  movements  of 
our  own  hearts,  and  affording  the  calm  to  reason,  that  is 
necessary  to  enable  us  to  conquer  our  passions,  which, 
like  ferocious  beasts,  are  only  to  be  subjugated  by  being 
bowed  under  the  yoke.  Let  us,  then,  suppose  a  solitude 
such  as  the  desert  in  which  I  now  am,  far  from  the  com- 
merce of  mankind,  where  the  pious  exercises  of  a  religious 
life,  being  uninterrupted  by  outward  things,  afford  con- 
tinual nourishment  to  the  soul.  Can  you  imagine  a 
felicity  more  desirable  than  that  of  imitating  on  earth 
that  life  which  the  angels  lead  in  heaven  ?  To  commence 
the  day  with  prayers  and  sacred  melodies,  which  bring  us 
into  immediate  communication  with  our  Creator;  con- 
tinuing it  by  the  same  exercises,  mingling  with  our  labour 
the  holy  songs  which  give  it  its  sweetest  relish,  and  diffuse 
such  delicious  consolations  over  the  soul  as  constantly  to 


10  BAS. 

keep  it  in  a  state  of  ravishing  serenity  ?  It  is  by  this 
majestic  equilibrium  in  the  movements  of  the  soul,  that 
we  are  purified :  by  not  permitting  the  tongue  to  indulge 
in  idle  conversation  ;  the  eyes  to  dwell  on  the  vain  glory 
of  mere  outward  things  ;  the  ears  to  introduce  to  the  soul 
any  thing  of  effeminancy  or  frivolity,  mere  mundane 
music,  or  the  heartless  jests  of  trifling  minds. 

"  The  soul,  secured  by  these  precautions  from  exterior 
diversion,  and  the  attacks  of  the  senses,  retires  within 
itself,  and  elevates  its  own  nature  to  the  contemplation  of 
the  Deity.  Enlightened  by  the  rays  which  shine  forth 
from  His  divine  essence,  it  rises  above  its  own  weakness ; 
freed  from  temporal  cares,  corporeal  necessities,  and  affec- 
tions of  earth,  it  devotes  all  its  powers  to  the  search  after 
immortal  good,  and  makes  its  sole  occupation  to  consist 
in  the  practice  of  temperance,  prudence,  fortitude,  justice, 
— in  a  word,  of  all  the  virtues  that  compose  the  code  of 
Christian  morality. 

"  The  surest  way  to  understand  thoroughly  all  that  is 
required  of  us,  is  to  meditate  upon  the  Holy  Scriptures, 
which  bring  before  our  eyes  at  once  the  precepts  necessary 
for  the  direction  of  our  conduct,  and  the  examples  of  virtue 
best  calculated  to  serve  us  as  models.  Hence,  in  whatever 
respect  each  one  feels  himself  deficient,  devoting  himself 
to  this  imitation,  he  finds,  as  from  some  dispensary,  the 
due  medicine  for  his  ailment.  He  who  is  enamoured  of 
chastity,  dwells  upon  the  history  of  Joseph,  and  from  him 
learns  chaste  actions,  finding  him  not  only  possessed  of 
self-command  over  pleasure,  but  virtuously-minded  in 
habit.  He  is  taught  endurance  from  Job.  Or,  should  he 
be  inquiring  how  to  be  at  once  meek  and  great-hearted, 
hearty  against  sin,  meek  towards  men,  he  will  find  David 
noble  in  warlike  exploits,  meek  and  unruffled  as  regards 
revenge  on  enemies.  Such,  too,  was  Moses,  rising  up 
with  great  heart  upon  sinners  against  God,  but  with  meek 
soul  bearing  their  evil  speaking  against  himself.  These 
meditations  ought  to  be  succeeded  by  prayer,  which 
strengthens  the  energy  of  the  soul,  by  the  flame  of  divine 


BAS.  11 

love  it  kindles  in  it.  Prayer  also  diffuses  light  over  the 
mysteries  of  the  divine  essence.  Prayer  makes  the  soul 
the  residence  of  God  Himself,  by  filling  its  intelligence 
and  perceptions  with  a  profound  impression  of  His  pre- 
sence :  it  makes  the  Christian  a  temple  of  the  divinity  ;  a 
sanctuary  which  neither  the  cares  nor  the  revolutions  that 
agitate  the  world,  nor  the  lawless  affections  which  make 
all  our  misery,  dare  venture  to  approach  :  separated  from 
every  thing  beside,  it  then  communes  only  with  God. 

"  One  of  the  first  objects  of  our  care  in  a  religious  com- 
munity ought  to  be  so  to  regulate  our  conversation,  as  to 
contract  the  habit  of  proposing  questions  to  each  other, 
without  any  mixture  of  a  disputatious  spirit,  and  of 
giving  our  answers  without  any  pretension  to  superiority  ; 
never  to  interrupt  any  one  who  may  be  speaking  of  some- 
thing useful ;  to  refrain  from  endeavouring  to  shine  in 
conversation ;  to  love  to  learn,  without  feeling  ashamed  at 
our  need  of  learning ;  to  impart  what  we  know,  without 
suffering  our  vanity  to  be  gratified  by  imparting  it,  and 
without  hiding  from  ourselves  or  others  the  source  whence 
we  may  have  derived  our  information,  but  always  making 
known,  with  gratitude,  to  whomsoever  we  may  be  indebted 
for  it.  The  sound  of  the  voice  should  also  be  attended 
to,  that  we  may  draw  neither  too  much,  nor  too  little 
attention  by  it.  Let  us  always  reflect  well  on  what  we 
are  going  to  say,  before  we  give  it  utterance  ;  let  us  show 
ourselves  polite,  attentive,  affectionate  in  our  language, 
but  let  us  not  lend  our  ears  to  any  thing  of  light  or  foolish 
jesting, — let  us,  on  the  contrary,  mildly  check,  by  friendly 
remonstrance,  those  who  may  be  in  the  habit  of  indulging 
in  it.  We  ought  never  to  allow  ourselves  any  harshness, 
either  of  manner  or  tone,  even  to  recall  to  duty  those  who 
may  have  suffered  themselves  to  wander  from  it.  Always 
in  matters  of  exhortation  place  yourself  in  the  lowest 
place  :  you  are  sure  by  that  means  to  gain  him  who  may 
have  need  of  your  advice.  In  such  cases  we  cannot  do 
better  than  take  for  our  model  the  prophet,  who,  charged 
with  the  rebuking  of  David  in  his  sin,  does  not  pronounce, 


12  BAS. 

in  his  own  person,  the  sentence  of  condemnation  on  him, 
but  borrowing  the  character  of  a  stranger,  in  which  to 
make  his  appeal  to  the  king's  individual  judgment,  leaves 
him,  when  he  pronounces  sentence  against  him,  no  plea 
for  complaint  against  his  accuser." 

In  all  these  precepts  we  have  the  rules  which  Basil 
himself  felt  it  necessary  to  impose  on  his  own  infirmities, 
and  thus  they  became  an  indirect  expression  of  his  acute 
sense  of  his  own  imperfections. 

With  what  humility  does  he  also  express  himself  on 
the  same  subject  to  his  friend  Amphilochus  : — "  I  have 
indeed  renounced  the  world,"  he  says,  "  as  far  as  with- 
drawing myself  from  communication  with  it  may  be  to 
renounce  it ;  but  I  feel  that  the  man  of  the  world  still 
lives  in  me.  You  know  I  have  practised  at  the  bar, 
hence  I  have  contracted  a  habit  of  speaking  too  much. 
I  am  not  sufficiently  on  my  guard  against  the  thoughts 
which  the  evil  one  suggests  to  me ;  I  find  difficulty  in 
relinquishing  the  favourable  opinion  I  had  entertained  of 
myself, — in  a  word,  my  whole  soul  has  need  of  being 
renewed  and  purified,  before  I  can  contemplate,  without 
impediment,  the  wonders  and  glory  of  my  God." 

It  was  nevertheless  with  inward  and  sweet  consolation 
that  Basil  began  to  see,  in  the  way  of  life  he  had  em- 
braced, the  means  afforded  him  of  gradual  approach  to 
that  perfection  of  the  regenerate  which  was  the  object  of 
all  his  most  ardent  desires. 

"It  is  certain,"  says  he,  again  addressing  his  Mend 
Gregory,  "  that  retirement  from  the  world  affords  great 
assistance  towards  the  attainment  of  this  end :  it  calms 
and  subdues  the  passions,  and  gradually  induces  a  habit 
of  sacred  meditation." 

At  a  future  period,  when  he  found  himself  more  and 
more  strengthened  in  his  renunciation  of  every  thing  that 
had  formerly  tended  to  engender  in  him  a  vain-glorious 
spirit  and  worldly  desires,  he  was  enabled  to  write  thus 
to  Eusebius  : 

"  I  have  lost  much  time  from  having  spent  my  youth 


BAS.  13 

in  the  study  of  vain  sciences,  and  the  acquirement  of  that 
worldly  wisdom  which  is  foolishness  in  the  sight  of  God  ; 
but  now  these  wretched  illusions  are  dispersed ;  I  deplore 
the  uselessness  of  my  past  life ;  I  see  the  emptiness  of 
the  acquirements  which  serve  no  other  end  than  to  inflate 
us  with  vain-glory,  and  the  wonderful  light  of  the  Evan- 
gelists is  become  my  sole  treasure.  It  was  indeed  incum- 
bent upon  me  to  reform  my  habits,  which  retained  but 
too  much  of  the  long  commerce  I  had  had  with  the  chil- 
dren of  this  world." 

Basil  was  joined  by  his  friend  in  359.  Their  happiness 
on  this  reunion,  and  the  manner  in  which  they  passed 
their  time,  may  be  described  by  St  Gregory,  when  in 
writing  to  his  friend  he  says  :  "Who  shall  make  me  as 
in  months  past,  as  in  the  days  when  I  had  the  luxury 
of  suffering  hardship  with  you  ?  since  voluntary  pain  is 
higher  than  involuntary  comfort.  Who  shall  restore  me 
to  those  psalmodies,  and  vigils,  and  departures  to  God 
through  prayer,  and  that  (as  it  were)  immaterial  and 
incorporeal  life  ?  or  to  that  union  of  brethren,  in  nature 
and  soul,  who  are  made  gods  by  you,  and  carried  on  high? 
or  to  that  rivalry  in  virtue  and  sharpening  of  heart  which 
we  consigned  to  written  decrees  and  canons  ?  or  to  that 
loving  study  of  divine  oracles,  and  the  light  we  found  in 
them,  with  the  guidance  of  the  Spirit?  or,  to  speak  of 
lesser  and  lower  things,  to  the  bodily  labours  of  the  day, 
the  wood-drawing  and  the  stone-hewing,  the  planting  and 
the  draining  ?  or  that  golden  plane,  more  honourable  than 
that  of  Xerxes,  under  which,  not  a  jaded  king,  but  a 
weary  monk  did  sit, — planted  by  me,  watered  by  Apollos, 
(that  is,  your  honourable  self,)  increased  by  God,  unto  my 
honour ;  that  there  should  be  preserved  with  you  a  memo- 
rial of  my  loving  toil,  as  Aaron's  rod  that  budded,  was,  as 
Scripture  says  and  we  believe,  kept  in  the  ark.  It  is  very 
easy  to  wish  all  this,  not  easy  to  gain.  Do  you,  however, 
come  to  me,  and  revive  my  virtue,  and  work  with  me ; 
and,  whatever  benefit  we  once  gained  together,  preserve 

VOL.  II.  B 


14  BAS. 

for  me  by  your  prayers,  lest  otherwise  I  fade  away  by 
little  and  little,  as  a  shadow,  while  the  day  declines.  For 
you  are  my  breath,  more  than  the  air,  and  so  far  only  do  I 
live,  as  I  am  in  your  company,  either  present,  or,  if  absent, 
by  your  image." 

At  this  period,  St  Gregory,  though  he  enjoyed  the 
society  of  his  friend,  indulged  himself  in  some  pleasantry 
on  the  subject  of  St  Basil's  mode  of  living.  The  austeri- 
ties of  Basil  did  indeed  become  severe  :  Gregory  tells  us, 
after  St  Basil's  death,  that  "  he  had  but  one  tunic  and 
one  outer  garment ;  a  bed  on  the  ground,  little  sleep, 
no  luxurious  bath :  his  pleasantest  meal  consisted  of 
bread  and  salt,  and  his  drink  that  sober  liquor  of  which 
there  is  no  stint,  which  is  elaborated  in  the  gushing 
spring." 

The  Ascetica  of  St  Basil  are  supposed  to  have  been  written 
by  him  during  his  retreat:  we  say  "supposed,"  because 
the  genuineness  of  these  treatises  is  disputed.  At  what 
time  Basil  was  ordained  is  doubtful,  but  he  was  certainly 
a  deacon  in  359,  when  he  attended  a  council  held  before 
Constantius,  at  Constantinople,  to  oppose  the  x\nomoeans. 
In  362  he  was  again  summoned  from  his  retirement,  to 
attend  the  death  bed  of  Dianius,  bishop  of  Caesarea,  to 
whom  St  Basil  was  personally  attached,  though  to  his 
principles  he  was  much  opposed.  Dianius  had  taken  part 
against  St  Athanasius,  but  seems  rather  to  have  been 
opposed  to  the  policy  of  the  Nicene  test,  with  respect  to 
the  Homo-ousion,  than  really  heretical.  He  was  one  of 
those  who  would  not  quarrel  about  a  word,  and  had  not 
sense  to  see  that  in  that  word  the  whole  controversy  was 
in  fact  involved  ;  which  is  indeed  always  forgotten  by  those 
who,  in  the  exercise  of  their  wit  display  their  ignorance, 
and  think  it  a  matter  of  ridicule  that  the  whole  Church, 
even  the  world,  was  convulsed  for  the  sake  of  an  iota, 
the  difference  between  Homo-ousion  and  Homoiousion. 
But  so  it  was ;  and  Dianius,  being  weak  and  liberal, 
iie  signed,  in  the  year  360,  the  formulary  of  the  council 


BAR.  15 

of  Ariminum,  in  which  the  orthodox  test  of  the  Homo 
ousion  being  given  up,  the  catholic  doctrine  was  evaded, 
under  the  pretence  of  expressing  it  only  in  the  words  of 
Scripture.  St  Basil  had  ceased  from  that  time  to  hold 
intercourse  with  him,  until  summoned,  as  we  have  stated, 
to  his  death  bed,  when  he  had  the  satisfaction  of  hearing 
his  friend  express  in  his  last  hours,  his  hearty  adherence 
to  the  Nicene  formulary. 

The  Church  was  at  this  period  in  a  critical  situation. 
The  apostate  Julian  was  on  the  throne,  prepared  to  assail 
her  from  without,  and  the  Arian,  or  low  church  faction, 
were  rending  her  vitals  within.  In  this  juncture,  the 
bishop  of  Caesarea  being  dead,  the  people  had  the  folly  to 
insist  upon  the  election  of  Eusebius,  who  was  only  a 
catechumen,  and  consequently  "  a  novice,"  and  the  pre- 
lates had  the  weakness  to  yield  to  their  violence,  and  to 
consecrate  him  to  the  vacant  bishopric. 

But  the  first  step  taken  by  Eusebius  was  a  wise  one. 
Feeling  his  inadequacy  to  the  duties  imposed  upon  him, 
he  secured  the  services  of  Basil,  and,  ordaining  him  priest 
in  the  year  364,  acted  in  all  things  according  to  his 
advice.  The  awful  responsibilities,  rather  than  the  dignity 
of  the  ministerial  office,  pressed  upon  the  minds  of  Chris- 
tians at  this  period,  and  it  was  contrary  to  his  own  wishes 
that  Basil  received  ordination.  It  was  therefore  with 
congenial  feelings  that  he  read  a  letter  from  Gregory,  in 
which  the  latter  said  :  "  We  have  both  of  us  been  made 
priests  agaiDst  our  inclinations;  perhaps  it  might  have 
been  better  for  us  never  to  have  been  raised  to  the  sacer- 
dotal office.  This,  however,  is  all  that  I  will  say  on  the 
subject;  for  I  am  not  fully  conscious  what  have  been  the 
views  of  God  respecting  us.  Since  our  lot  is  cast,  it  is  our 
duty  to  submit  ourselves  to  it,  above  all,  on  account  of  the 
times  in  which  we  live,  when  the  tongues  of  heretics  are  let 
loose  against  us  on  every  side,  and  to  do  nothing  which 
may  fall  below  either  the  hopes  that  are  conceived  respect- 
ing us,  or  the  life  which  we  have  hitherto  led."  The  times 
were  the  more  difficult,  because  there  was  a  large  body  in 


16  BAS. 

the  Church,  the  Semi-arians,  with  whom  the  generous 
spirit  of  Basil  sympathized,  who  were  rather  perplexed  by 
the  various  explanations,  refinements,  and  distinctions  to 
which  the  Arian  controversy  had  given  rise,  than  perversely 
heterodox ;  who  opposed  the  Arians,  from  whom  they 
had  emanated,  and  shewed  an  inclination,  after  the  death 
of  Constantius,  in  361,  to  conform  to  the  doctrine  of  the 
Church.  Basil's  tenderness  to  these  persons  involved  him 
in  difficulties  and  suspicion  throughout  his  life.  But  not- 
withstanding all  the  difficulties  he  had  to  encounter,  his 
labours  as  a  priest  were  eminently  successful.  He  fre- 
quently preached  every  day  in  the  week,  and  as  a  record 
of  his  labour  we  still  possess  his  "  Hexaemeron,"  or  nine 
homilies  on  the  six  days  of  creation,  which  may  be  found 
in  the  first  volume  of  the  Benedictine  edition  of  his  works. 
"  The  simplest,"  says  his  brother,  Gregory  of  Nyssa, 
"  could  comprehend  his  discourses,  whilst  the  wisest 
admired  them."  But  he  preached  more  especially  by  the 
eloquence  of  his  example.  He  retained  in  the  world  the 
recollected  spirit  of  a  recluse,  and  his  life  was  as  regular 
in  the  midst  of  his  many  avocations,  as  if  he  had  no  other 
duty  to  attend  to,  but  the  inspection  of  himself. 

Eusebius  became  jealous.  A  dispute  ensued,  which 
ended  in  a  separation.  The  separation  after  the  dispute 
was  necessary,  for  the  attachment  of  the  people  to  Basil 
was  so  strong,  that  it  would  have  been  impossible  for  him, 
had  he  continued  in  his  post,  to  prevent  their  forming  a 
faction  against  their  bishop,  especially  as  their  favourite 
Basil  was  the  injured  party.  A  weak,  a  wicked,  or  an  am- 
bitious man,  however  much  he  may  retain  the  semblance 
of  piety,  can  never  resist  the  temporary  importance  of  one 
who  is  enabled  to  place  himself  at  the  head  of  a  faction. 
Many  a  soul  has  been  ruined  by  this  :  though  to  be  the 
head  of  a  faction  requires  little  intellect ;  the  only  thing 
requisite,  is  that  flexibility  of  principle  which  will  enable 
persons  to  act  together  under  the  most  degrading  of  all 
bonds,  though  it  is  always  the  bond  of  religious  faction, 
the  bond,  not  of  love,  but  hatred, — hatred  directed  to  a 


BAS.  17 

common  object.  St  Basil  was  a  true  churchman ;  a  man 
of  God ;  and  as  such  was  prepared  to  suffer,  rather  than 
injure  the  Church  or  damage  his  own  soul.  Once  again, 
therefore,  he  quitted  Caesarea,  and  retired  not  unwillingly 
to  his  monastic  seclusion  in  Pontus.  St  Gregory  Nazian- 
zen  accompanied  him,  and  there,  in  the  serenity  of  his 
monastery,  and  in  the  society  of  his  friend,  he  was 
permitted  during  three  years  of  retirement,  to  prepare  his 
soul  for  the  greater  trials  which  awaited  him. 

For  the  times  were  not  such  as  to  permit  a  man  of 
Basil's  energy  and  genius  to  continue  long  in  seclusion. 
Valens,  the  emperor,  was  a  heretic,  and  determined  to 
establish  heresy  on  the  ruins  of  Catholicism :  he  had 
already  made  havoc  of  the  Church  of  Galatia,  and  was 
proceeding  to  do  the  same  damage  to  the  Church  of  Cappa- 
docia,  expecting  to  make  great  gain  of  the  divisions  there, 
and  the  absence  of  Basil,  and  being  supported  by  an 
army,  as  Gregory  describes  it,  worthy  of  such  a  chief,  and 
ready  to  commit  any  atrocity ;  by  bishops  without  piety, 
and  by  governors  of  provinces  'without  humanity.  He 
tried,  indeed,  the  arts  of  profane  governments,  and  by 
promises  of  protection  and  preferment,  sought  to  win  Basil 
to  his  side ;  but  Basil,  true  to  his  principles,  had  been 
reconciled  to  Eusebius,  and  was  found  at  his  post,  man- 
fully contending  for  the  faith  once  delivered  to  the  saints, 
and  utterly  defeating  the  godless  machinations  of  Valens, 
who  was,  in  the  words  of  Gregory,  equally  distinguished 
for  the  love  of  money  and  the  hatred  of  Christ,  <Pi\ox?v<roTa.To<; 

X.CLI   fj(,L<TOXpl<TTOTa,TO$. 

The  reconciliation  between  Basil  and  his  bishop  had 
been  effected  by  Gregory  Nazianzen,  who  first  addressed 
the  bishop  in  a  letter,  of  which  the  following  is  a  transla- 
tion: 

"lam  well  aware  that  in  addressing  your  lordship,  I 

am  addressing  one   who   himself  hates   insincerity,  and 

who  has  a  peculiar  skill  in  detecting  it  in  others,  however 

artfully  concealed :    and  indeed  I  may  say,  if  you  will 

b  2 


18  BAS. 

pardon  the  impertinence,  I  am  myself  averse  to  it,  both 
by  natural  disposition  and  from  Christian  education.  So 
let  me  speak  out  what  is  Uppermost  on  my  mind,  and 
excuse  my  freedom.  Indeed  it  would  be  an  injury  to  me 
to  restrain  me  and  bid  me  keep  my  pain  to  myself,  as  a 
sore  festering  in  my  heart.  Proud  as  I  am  of  your  notice, 
(for  I  am  a  man,  as  some  one  says  before  me,)  and  of  your 
invitations  to  religious  consultations  and  meetings,  yet  I 
cannot  bear  your  holiness's  past  and  present  slight  of  my 
most  honoured  brother  Basil,  whom  I  selected  from  the 
first,  and  still  possess  as  my  friend,  to  live  with  me  and 
study  with  me,  and  search  with  me  into  the  deepest 
wisdom.  I  have  no  need  to  be  dissatisfied  with  the 
opinion  I  have  formed  of  him,  and  if  I  do  not  say  more 
in  his  praise,  it  is  lest,  in  enlarging  on  his  admirable 
qualities,  I  should  seem  to  be  praising  myself.  Now, 
your  favour  towards  me,  and  discountenance  of  him,  is  as 
if  a  man  should  stroke  one's  head  with  one  hand,  and 
with  the  other  strike  one's  cheek ;  or  decorate  a  house 
with  paintings  and  beautify  the  outside,  while  he  was 
undermining  its  foundations.  If  there  is  any  thing  you 
will  grant  me,  let  it  be  this  ;  and  I  trust  you  will,  for 
really  it  is  equitable.  He  will  certainly  defer  to  you,  if 
you  do  but  pay  a  reasonable  deference  to  him.  For  my- 
self, I  shall  come  after  him  as  shadows  follow  bodies, 
being  small,  and  a  lover  of  quiet.  Miserable  indeed  should 
we  be,  if  while  we  were  desirous  of  wisdom  in  other 
matters,  and  to  choose  the  better  part,  we  yet  thought 
little  of  that  grace,  which  is  the  end  of  all  our  doctrine — 
charity ;  especially  in  the  case  of  one  who  is  our  bishop, 
and  so  eminent,  as  we  well  know,  in  life,  in  doctrine,  in 
conversation,  and  in  the  government  of  his  diocese ;  for 
the  truth  must  be  spoken,  whatever  our  private  feelings 
may  be." 

Gregory  at  the  same  time  wrote  to  Basil : 
"  This  time  calls  upon  us  to  be  well-judging  in  our 
measures,  and  to  bear  patiently  what  may  come  upon  us  : 


BAS.  19 

to  surpass  in  valour  the  generality  of  men,  and  to  have  a 
care  lest  all  our  past  labour  and  toil  should  suddenly  come 
to  nothing.  Now,  why  do  I  write  thus  ?  It  is  because 
-our  admirable  bishop,  for  such  in  future  we  ought  to  think 
and  call  Eusebius,  has  most  friendly  and  kind  feelings 
towards  us,  and  like  steel  in  the  fire  is  softened  by  time. 
I  even  expect  that  you  will  receive  a  communication  from 
him,  with  pleasant  words,  and  a  summons,  as  he  himself 
hinted  to  me,  and  many  of  his  confidential  friends  assure 
me.  Let  us  then  anticipate  his  advances,  either  by  our 
presence  or  by  writing,  or,  what  would  be  better  still,  by 
first  writing  and  then  making  our  appearance,  lest  we  suf- 
fer hereafter  a  defeat  with  disgrace,  when  we  might  have 
conquered  by  a  defeat  which  was  honourable  and  dignified ; 
which,  indeed,  most  men  expect  of  us.  Come,  then,  ac- 
cording to  my  entreaty,  both  on  this  account,  and  for  the 
times'  sake.  In  truth,  the  heretical  faction  is  trampling 
the  Church  under-foot ;  some  of  them  are  already  among 
us  and  are  at  work  ;  others,  it  is  said,  will  follow  soon. 
Surely  there  is  danger  of  their  sweeping  away  the  word 
of  truth,  unless  the  spirit  of  our  Bezaleel  speedily  awake, 
that  cunning  master-builder  of  argument  and  doctrine. 
If  you  wish  me  to  be  present  and  to  assist  in  this  busi- 
ness, or  to  be  the  companion  of  your  journey,  I  am  at 
your  service." 

Gregory  was  not  at  first  successful  with  Eusebius,  but 
having  prevailed  with  him,  he  found  Basil  ready  at  once 
to  forget  as  well  as  to  forgive  the  past,  and  to  act  the  part 
of  a  Christian.  "It  required,"  says  Gregory,  "no  long 
arguments  to  prevail  on  him  to  come  to  our  aid.  I  it  was, 
who  was  charged  by  Eusebius  to  bear  to  him  the  unani- 
mous wish  of  the  people  for  his  return.  As  soon  as  he 
beheld  me,  without  one  moment's  hesitation,  he  prepared 
to  quit  Pontus  immediately,  and  to  follow  me ;  he  saw 
nothing  but  the  fact  that  the  Church  was  endangered 
by  tyranny;  he  had  no  other  feeling  than  the  desire  to 
support  it,  and  to  devote  himself  unconditionally  to  its 
service." 


20  BAS. 

The  reconciliation  when  it  took  place  was  on  both  sides 
cordial  and  sincere :  the  aged  bishop  found  in  the  energetic 
Basil  the  friend  and  coadjutor  whom  his  advanced  years 
required :  and  Basil  was  as  usual  successful  among  the 
people.  "  Nothing,"  says  St  Gregory  in  allusion  to  his 
conduct  at  this  period,  "could  equal  his  zeal  and  courage, 
excepting  his  prudence  and  profound  wisdom ;  he  knew, 
at  once,  how  to  regain  the  affection  of  his  people,  put  an 
end  to  the  disputes  which  divided  even  the  orthodox,  and 
separate  from  them  those  who  were  inimical  to  the  truth. 
Every  where  was  he  seen  joining  himself  to  the  strong, 
supporting  the  weak,  and  repulsing  their  adversaries,  who 
were  obliged,  at  length,  to  retire,  without  gaining  a  single 
advantage  over  them." 

In  the  year  368  two  awful  events  occurred  in  which  the 
character  of  St  Basil  displayed  itself  in  the  most  amiable 
colours.  Drought  and  famine  desolated  the  whole  of  Cap- 
padocia :  and  dreadful  as  the  visitation  was  every  where,  it 
was  peculiarly  so  in  Ciesarea,  as  its  distance  from  the  sea 
prevented  the  importation  of  foreign  corn.  At  this  junc- 
ture the  rich  were  found  inclined  to  speculate  on  the 
miseries  of  their  fellow  creatures  by  buying  up  the 
provisions  that  remained,  in  the  hope  of  making  an 
enormous  profit  on  them  as  the  necessities  of  the  people 
increased.  The  energies  of  St  Basil  were  enthusiastically 
employed  on  the  part  of  the  poor :  he  alarmed  some  by 
his  denunciations,  and  melted  others  by  his  entreaties, 
and  never  rested  until  the  poor  were  fed.  Basil,  assisted 
by  other  benevolent  Christians,  raised  the  funds  for  their 
support,  regulated  the  distribution  of  the  stores  himself, 
watched  over  the  necessities  of  the  people,  and  ministered 
to  their  spiritual  wants  at  the  same  time  that  he  provided 
for  the  wants  of  their  body. 

Is  it  asked  where  was  the  secret  by  which  Basil  obtained 
this  wondrous  influence  over  the  minds  of  men?  We 
answer,  his  preaching  was  powerful  not  in  words  only  but 
more  especially  in  deeds.  Emmelia,  his  mother,  was  dead. 
Basil  had,  therefore,  become  once  more  possessed  of  con- 


BAS.  -21 

siderable  private  property.  He  again  sold  his  possessions, 
and  it  was  with  the  sum  thus  realized  that  he  provided 
daily  for  those  who  were  unable  to  provide  for  themselves. 
He  refused  none  ;  neither  Jew  nor  heathen  was  excluded 
from  his  bounty;  his  light  shone  on  the  evil  and  the  good, 
for  in  such  times  the  question  relates  not  to  a  man's  merits 
but  to  his  wants.  Mention  has  just  been  made  of  the 
death  of  St  Basil's  mother,  Emmelia ;  so  that  domestic 
giief  was  added  to  public  care,  and  how  deeply  he  felt  his 
loss,  he  himself  declares  when  in  writing  to  Eusebius  of 
Samosata ;  he  says,  "  I  have  lost  the  first  joy  of  my  life, — 
I  have  lost  my  mother.  Do  not  accuse  me  of  weakness  in 
deploring,  at  my  age,  this  event  as  lacerating  to  my  heart. 
Oh  !  do  not  condemn  me  for  regretting  the  removal  of  a 
person  whose  place  no  other  in  this  world  can  ever  supply 
to  me,  and  alas  !  whom  no  other  will  ever  resemble  in  my 
eyes."'  The  Church  regarded  Emmelia  as  a  saint;  and  the 
loss  of  a  saint-like  mother  is  indeed  irreparable. 

The  other  event  to  which  allusion  has  been  made  as 
occuring  this  year  was  an  earthquake  which  over- 
whelmed the  city  of  Nice.  Among  those  who  were  buried 
in  its  ruins  was  Caesarius,  the  brother  of  Gregory  Xazian- 
zen.  He  had  been  extricated  with  difficulty,  and  had 
received,  as  it  were,  his  life  from  the  grave.  The  earth 
trembled  and  shook,  and  he  was  counted  as  one  of  them  that 
go  down  into  the  pit,  but  he  was  spared  ;  and  St  Basil,  on 
writing  to  congratulate  him,  says,  "  Oh  that  we  could 
always  retain  the  sentiments  by  which  we  are  animated  in 
times  of  danger  and  trial ; — then  it  is  that  we  are  indeed 
fully  impressed  with  a  conviction  of  the  nothingness  of 
this  life,  the  uncertainty  of  all  worldly  things,  the  folly  of 
those  who  attach  themselves  to  them  :  then  it  is  that  we 
deplore  our  past  errors  ;  that  we  form  new  resolutions  to 
watch  more  narrowly  over  ourselves  for  the  future,  and  to 
consecrate  ourselves  afresh  and  entirely  to  the  Lord.  Such 
are  the  sentiments  you  have  no  doubt  experienced  on  your 
late  deliverance.  Look  upon  yourself,  then,  for  the  future, 
as  a  man  charged,  if  ever  there  was  one,  with  an  immense 


23  BAS. 

and  most  sacred  debt.  I  suggest  these  considerations  to 
you,  with  mixed  emotions  of  thankfulness  for  the  past, 
and  solicitude  for  the  future  :  excuse  my  frankness.  I 
well  remember  you  used  to  like  me  to  hold  such  language 
as  this,  with  you,  and  I  am  willing  to  flatter  myself  that 
it  will  not  at  this  time  find  you  less  disposed  to  listen  to 
it  favourably." 

While  Basil  was  devoting  all  his  thoughts  and  time  to 
the  service  of  the  church  of  Caesarea,  Eusebius  died  ;  and 
his  flock  was  now  exposed  to  the  same  troubles  that  in- 
fested it  at  the  time  of  his  election.  Caesarea  was  the 
most  considerable  see  in  the  east  next  to  Antioch ; 
the  integrity  of  the  faith  in  that  important  diocese, 
and  the  harmony  which  reigned  among  the  people,  gave 
the  heretics  no  small  uneasiness,  and  they  were  now  re- 
solved to  make  a  bold  push,  and  to  leave  no  stone  unturned 
in  order  to  get  it  into  their  hands.  Upon  this  the  clergy 
of  Caesarea  notified  their  bishop's  death  to  the  other  pre- 
lates in  the  province,  who  hastend  thither  in  order  to  pro- 
ceed to  the  election  of  a  successor,  and  thus  to  defeat  the 
attempts  of  the  Arians.  St  Gregory,  bishop  of  Nazianzum, 
father  of  St  Basil's  illustrious  friend,  was  then  eighty  years 
old,  and  sick  in  bed,  and  consequently  unable  to  assist  in 
person  at  the  choice  of  a  new  bishop.  He  wrote  to  the 
clergy  and  people  of  Caesarea,  assuring  them  that,  if  it 
were  but  barely  possible  for  him  to  be  removed  to  that  city, 
he  would  not  fail  to  attend ;  but,  if  that  was  not  in  his 
power,  he  gave  them  to  understand  that  his  vote  went  for 
Basil,  whom  he  could  not  but  prefer  on  this  occasion, 
although  he  was  satisfied  there  might  be  several  persons 
truly  worthy  of  that  dignity.  "  He  is  a  man,"  says  that 
venerable  prelate,  "of  sound  doctrine,  and  pure  morals  ; 
and  the  only  person,  or,  at  least,  the  properest,  to 
oppose  the  heretics,  and  defend  the  faith  against  their 
assaults."  The  same  prelate  sent  another  letter  on  the 
same  subject  to  Eusebius,  bishop  of  Samosata,  and  although 
not  of  the  province,  begged  his  assistance  in  the  affair, 
because  it  concerned  the  whole  Church.     Eusebius  went 


BAS.  23 

to  Caesarea;  where  the  Catholics  received  fresh  courage 
frorn  the  presence  of  one  so  famous  and  so  much  esteemed ; 
which  was  necessary  at  that  time ;  for  though  there  could 
be  no  dispute  about  St  Basil's  superior  qualifications,  his 
election  was  opposed  by  some  of  the  chief  persons  in  that 
country ;  the  faction  was  supported  by  great  numbers  of 
such  as  are  always  ready  to  act  with  their  leaders,  and 
their  party  seemed  so  strong  that  several  of  the  bishops 
gave  in  to  their  measures,  imagining  they  spoke  the  sense 
of  the  whole  people.  Eusebius  undeceived  the  greatest 
part  of  them,  and  the  old  bishop  of  Xazianzum,  under- 
standing that  Basil  still  wanted  one  vote,  forgot  his  age 
and  sickness,  was  carried  in  a  litter  to  Caesarea,  and  would 
have  thought  himself  happy  had  he  expired  the  moment 
he  had  concurred  to  the  good  work.  Thus  St  Basil  was 
regularly  and  canonically  elected  and  consecrated  on  the 
14th  of  June,  370. 

Nothing  is  so  difficult  for  a  man  in  a  public  station  as 
to  act  up  to  the  opinion  his  friends  have  entertained  of 
him  before  his  promotion.  But  St  Basil  came  up  to 
their  highest  expectations.  His  first  care  was  to  soften 
the  minds  of  such  as  were  exasperated  against  him. 
and  had  been  heated  with  the  late  intrigues ;  he  gained 
them  so  effectually  by  a  noble,  ingenuous,  and  gentle 
line  of  conduct  without  any  mixture  of  flattery,  that 
they  were  persuaded  their  salvation  could  not  be  safe, 
while  they  remained  disobedient  to  this  excellent  prelate. 
Thus  conquered  by  generous  usage,  and  convinced  of  their 
fault  by  the  conduct  of  their  pastor,  they  endeavoured  to 
recommend  themselves  by  a  virtuous  and  regular  life, 
which  was  all  that  could  entitle  them  to  his  favour,  and 
convince  him  of  the  reality  of  their  repentance.  This  is 
the  account  St  Gregory  has  left  us  of  his  friend. 

His  new  dignity  was  not  supported  by  a  large  retinue, 
a  splendid  table,  and  magnificent  furniture ;  humility, 
frugality  and  mortification  were  his  only  ornaments.  His 
servants  were  reduced  to  so  small  a  number,  that  he  often 
wanted  persons  to  copy  his  writings,  carry  his  letters,  and 


•24  BAS. 

go  on  the  most  necessary  messages ;  and  only  the  poor 
knew  that  the  revenue  of  his  bishopric  was  considerable. 
His  whole  family  was  most  exactly  regular,  and  no  one 
could  be  admitted  into  his  house,  who  was  not  disposed  to 
conform  to  the  discipline  of  it.  Neither  the  multiplicity 
of  business,  nor  his  continual  infirmities,  hindered  him 
from  often  explaining  the  Word  of  God  to  his  people  on 
working  days  both  morning  and  afternoon ;  upon  which 
occasion  the  tradesmen  shut  up  their  shops  most  willingly 
and  hastened  to  the  divine  food,  without  any  concern  for 
the  loss  of  their  business  in  the  meantime.  The  ardour 
his  flock  shewed  augmented  the  pastor's  zeal,  which 
often  exceeded  his  strength  ;  for  which  reason  in  one  of 
his  homilies  he  compares  himself  to  a  nurse,  who  has  no 
milk,  but  is  obliged,  however,  to  give  her  child  the  breast 
to  keep  it  from  crying.  He  made  frequent  visitations  of 
his  whole  diocese ;  established  ecclesiastical  discipline  in 
its  primitive  rigour ;  reclaimed  several  who  seemed  to  be 
lost  to  all  sense  of  goodness;  and  employed  both  his  tongue 
and  pen  in  laying  down  excellent  rules  for  every  state  of 
life,  which  are  the  subject  of  several  of  his  letters  and 
homilies. 

But  the  difficulties  with  which  St  Basil  had  to  contend 
upon  his  first  entrance  upon  his  office  were  very  great. 
The  state  of  the  Church  internally  may  be  surmised 
from  the  following  letters  addressed  by  St  Basil  to  his 
suffragans. 

"  So  great  is  the  enormity  of  the  crime  which  is  the 
subject  of  this  letter,  that  the  very  suspicion  and  report  of 
it  pained  me  deeply.  And  hitherto  I  did  not  believe  it 
could  have  been  committed.  So  what  I  shall  say  about  it 
must  be  taken  as  a  wholesome  medicine  by  such  as  are 
conscious  of  guilt ;  by  the  innocent  as  a  warning  ;  and  as 
a  protest  by  those  who  stand  aloof,  though  I  trust  such 
indifference  is  not  found  among  you.  What  am  I  de- 
nouncing ?  It  is  reported  that  some  among  you  receive  a 
price  for  bestowing  ordination,  and  then  give  a  religious 
colour  to  their  proceeding.    Should  this  be  so,  let  it  cease ; 


BAS.  25 

for  we  are  bound  to  say  to  him  who  receives,  what  the 
apostles  said  to  him  who  offered  a  price  for  the  participa- 
tion of  the  Spirit,  "Thy  money  perish  with  thee  !"  Indeed, 
it  is  a  less  sin  to  be  ignorant  that  we  cannot  buy,  than  to 
sell  the  gift  of  God.  For  we  sell  what  we  received  without 
price,  and  so,  being  sold  to  Satan,  shall  certainly  lose  it. 
We  traffic  in  things  spiritual,  even  in  that  Church  in 
which  the  body  and  blood  of  Christ  are  given  us  in  charge. 
This  must  not  be. 

"The  evasion  of  these  persons  is  as  follows.  They  con- 
sider they  are  clear  of  the  guilt,  in  that  they  receive 
nothing  before  ordination,  but  after.  But  to  receive  is 
still  to  receive,  whatever  be  the  time. 

"I  beseech  you  turn  from  this  way  of  gain,  or  rather,  of 
perdition ;  nor  by  such  pollution  deprive  your  hands  of 
the  power  of  celebrating  the  holy  mysteries.  Let  me 
speak  my  purpose.  First,  I  exhort  as  disbelieving  the 
charge;  next,  as  if  convinced,  I  threaten.  Should  any 
instance  occur  after  this  my  letter,  the  offender  shall  be 
removed  from  the  altar  of  his  church ;  for  he  makes  a 
gain  of  the  gift  of  God.  We  have  no  such  custom,  neither 
the  churches  of  God.  I  will  add  one  word.  The  love  of 
money,  which  has  caused  this  crime,  is  the  root  of  all  evil, 
and  is  termed  in  Scripture  idolatry.  Prefer  not  idols  to 
Christ,  for  a  paltry  bribe  ;  nor  be  as  Judas,  selling  Him 
afresh  who  was  once  for  all  crucified  for  us.  Surely  both 
the  estates,  and  the  hands  of  those  who  reap  the  fruits 
thereof,  shall  be  called  Aceldama." 

On  another  occasion  he  addresses  his  suffragan  bishops 
in  these  terms  : — 

"lam  much  concerned  at  the  utter  disuse,  which  prevails 
among  us,  of  the  canons  of  our  fathers,  and  at  the  banish- 
ment of  exact  discipline  from  the  churches ;  and  I  am 
apprehensive  lest,  if  this  indifference  goes  further,  ecclesi- 
astical affairs  will  fall  into  utter  confusion.  According  to 
the  ancient  custom  of  the  Church,  candidates  for  its  min- 
istry were  not  admitted  without  most  careful  examination. 
vol.  ir.  c 


26  BAS. 

Diligent  inquiry  was  made  into  their  manner  of  life, 
whether  they  were  railers,  or  drunkards,  or  quarrelsome, 
or  unable  to  control  their  youth,  so  as  to  secure  that  holi- 
ness, without  which  no  one  shall  see  the  Lord.  The  pres- 
byters and  deacons  in  their  neighbourhood  ascertained 
these  points,  and  reported  to  the  suffragans,  who  collected 
their  opinions  together,  and  laid  them  before  the  bishop  : 
and  then  the  candidate  was  received.  But  at  present  you 
have  deprived  me  of  the  right  of  this  report,  and  have 
taken  the  whole  authority  into  your  own  hands.  Next, 
you  have  neglected  the  duty  thus  undertaken,  and  have 
allowed  the  presbyters  and  deacons  to  introduce  into  the 
church  whom  they  would,  without  inquiring  into  their 
previous  life,  from  personal  liking,  either  from  relationship 
or  other  connexion.  Hence,  many  as  are  the  inferior 
ministers  in  each  town,  there  is  not,  perhaps,  one  fit  to  be 
advanced  to  the  ministry  of  the  altar,  [i.  e.,  to  the  priest- 
hood and  diaconate,]  as,  indeed,  yourself  acknowledge,  in 
the  difficulty  you  find  in  electing  them.  Since,  then,  these 
irregularities  tend  to  irreparable  mischief,  especially  now, 
when  so  many  are  entering  the  ministry  to  avoid  conscrip- 
tion for  the  army,  I  have  felt  myself  compelled  to  recur  to 
the  canons  of  our  fathers ;  aud  I  write  to  you  for  a  list  of 
the  ministers  of  each  town,  and  by  whom  each  was  recom- 
mended, and  his  mode  of  life.  And  I  wish  you  to  keep 
lists  of  your  own,  which  may  be  checked  by  those  you  send 
me,  so  that  no  one  may  be  able  to  introduce  his  name  of 
himself.  If  any  should  be  introduced  by  presbyters  after 
this  arrangement,  they  are  to  be  put  back  again  into  the 
laity,  and  undergo  an  examination  afresh.  Should  they 
be  approved,  then  let  them  be  re-admitted." 

When  he  was  securely  seated  in  the  metropolitan  see, 
like  a  Catholic  pastor,  he  extended  his  care  beyond  the 
boundaries  of  his  own  province  and  applied  himself  to 
restoring  the  peace  of  the  Church,  torn  to  pieces  by  the 
Arian  faction,  and  opened  a  correspondence  with  the 
illustrious  St  Athanasius  and  the  bishops  of  the  west. 
Thefo  Rowing  is  his  letter  to  St  Athanasius  : — 


BAS.  27 

"  I  suppose  there  is  no  one  who  feels  such  pain  at 
the  present  condition,  or  rather  want  of  condition  of  the 
churches,  as  your  grace;  comparing,  as  you  naturally 
must,  the  present  with  the  past,  and  considering  the 
difference  between  them,  and  the  certainty  there  is,  if  the 
evil  proceeds  at  its  present  pace,  that  in  a  short  time  the 
churches  will  altogether  lose  their  present  constitution.  I 
have  often  thought  with  myself,  if  the  corruption  of  the 
churches  seems  so  sad  to  me,  what  must  be  the  feelings 
of  one  who  has  witnessed  their  former  stability  and 
unanimity  in  the  faith.  And  as  your  holiness  has  more 
abundant  grief,  so  one  must  suppose  you  have  greater 
anxiety  for  their  welfare.  For  myself,  I  have  been  long 
of  opinion,  according  to  my  imperfect  understanding  of 
ecclesiastical  matters,  that  there  was  one  way  of  succouring 
our  churches — viz.,  the  co-operation  of  the  bishops  of  the 
west.  If  they  would  but  show,  as  regards  our  part  of 
Christendom,  the  zeal  which  they  manifested  in  the  case 
of  one  or  two  heretics  among  themselves,  there  would  be 
some  chance  of  benefit  to  our  common  interests  ;  the  civil 
power  would  be  persuaded  by  the  argument  derived  from 
their  number,  and  the  laity  in  each  place  would  follow 
their  lead  without  hesitation.  Now  there  is  no  one  more 
able  to  accomplish  this  than  yourself,  from  sagacity  in 
counsel,  and  energy  in  action,  and  sympathy  for  the 
troubles  of  the  brethren,  and  the  reverence  felt  by  the 
west  for  your  hoary  head.  Most  reverend  father,  leave 
the  world  some  memorial  worthy  of  your  former  deeds. 
Crown  your  former  numberless  combats  for  religion  with 
this  one  additional  achievement.  Send  to  the  bishops  of 
the  west,  from  your  holy  church,  men  powerful  in  sound 
doctrine ;  relate  to  them  our  present  calamities ;  suggest 
to  them  the  mode  of  relieving  us.  Be  a  Samuel  to  the 
churches ;  conduct  their  flocks  harassed  by  war ;  offer 
prayers  of  peace  ;  ask  grace  of  the  Lord,  that  he  may  give 
some  token  of  peace  to  the  churches.  I  know  letters  are 
but  feeble  instruments  to  persuade  so  great  a  thing;  but 
while  you  need  not  to  be  urged  on  by  others,  more  than 


28  BAS. 

generous  combatants  by  the  acclamation  of  boys,  I,  on 
the  other  hand,  am  not  as  if  lecturing  the  ignorant,  but 
adding  speed  to  the  earnest. 

"  As  to  the  remaining  matters  of  the  east,  you  would 
perhaps  wish  the  assistance  of  others,  and  think  it  neces- 
sary to  wait  for  the  arrival  of  the  western  bishops.  How- 
ever, there  is  one  Church,  the  prosperity  of  which  de- 
pends entirely  on  yourself — Antioch.  It  is  in  your  power 
so  to  manage  the  one  party,  and  to  moderate  the  other,  as 
at  length  to  restore  strength  to  the  Church  by  their  union. 
You  know,  better  than  any  one  can  tell  you,  that,  as  wise 
physicians  prescribe,  it  is  necessary  to  begin  with  treating 
the  more  vital  matters.  Now  what  can  be  more  vital  to 
Christendom  than  the  welfare  of  Antioch  ?  If  we  could 
but  settle  the  differences  there,  the  head  being  restored, 
the  whole  body  would  regain  health." 

To  the  bishops  of  the  West  he  addressed  himself  also  : 
"The  merciful  God,  who  ever  joins  comfort  to  affliction, 
has  lately  given  me  some  consolation  amid  my  sorrows, 
in  the  letters  which  our  most  reverend  father,  Athanasius, 
has  transmitted  to  us  from  your  holinesses.  Our  afflic- 
tions are  well  known  without  my  telling ;  the  sound  of 
them  has  now  gone  forth  over  all  Christendom.  The  doc- 
trines of  the  fathers  are  despised  ;  apostolical  traditions 
are  set  at  nought ;  the  speculations  of  innovators  hold 
sway  in  the  churches.  Men  have  learned  to  be  theorists 
instead  of  theologians.  The  wisdom  of  the  world  has  the 
place  of  honour,  having  dispossessed  the  boasting  of  the 
cross.  The  pastors  are  driven  away,  grievous  wolves  are 
brought  in  instead,  and  plunder  the  flock  of  Christ, 
Houses  of  prayer  are  destitute  of  preachers  ;  the  deserts 
are  full  of  mourners  :  the  old  bewail,  comparing  what  is 
with  what  was ;  more  pitiable  are  the  young,  as  not  knowing 
what  they  are  deprived  of.  What  has  been  said  is  suffi- 
cient to  kindle  the  sympathy  of  those  who  are  taught  in 
the  love  of  Christ,  yet  compared  with  the  facts,  it  is  far 
from  reaching  their  seriousness." 


BAS.  29 

In  the  second  letter,  addressed  to  the  bishops  of  Italy 
and  Gaul,  he  says  : 

"  The  danger  is  not  confined  to  one  church  :  not  two 
or  three  only  have  fallen  in  with  this  heavy  tempest. 
Almost  from  the  borders  of  Illyricum  down  to  the  Thebais, 
this  evil  of  heresy  spreads  itself.  The  doctrines  of  godli- 
ness are  overturned ;  the  rules  of  the  Church  are  in 
confusion ;  the  ambition  of  the  unprincipled  seizes  upon 
places  of  authority;  and  the  chief  seat  is  now  openly 
proposed  as  a  reward  for  impiety  ;  so  that  he  whose  blas- 
phemies are  the  more  shocking,  is  more  eligible  for  the 
oversight  of  the  people.  Priestly  gravity  has  perished  ; 
there  are  none  left  to  feed  the  Lord's  flock  with  know- 
ledge ;  ambitious  men  are  ever  spending  in  purposes  of 
self-indulgence  and  bribery,  possessions  which  they  hold 
in  trust  for  the  poor.  The  accurate  observance  of  the 
canons  is  no  more ;  there  is  no  restraint  upon  sin.  Un- 
believers laugh  at  what  they  see,  and  the  weak  are 
unsettled;  faith  is  doubtful,  ignorance  is  poured  over 
their  souls,  because  the  adulterators  of  the  word  in  wick- 
edness imitate  the  truth.  Religious  people  keep  silence  ; 
but  every  blaspheming  tongue  is  let  loose.  Sacred  things 
are  profaned ;  those  of  the  laity  who  are  sound  in  faith 
avoid  the  places  of  worship  as  schools  of  impiety,  and 
raise  their  hands  in  solitude,  with  groans  and  tears,  to 
the  Lord  in  heaven.  While  then  any  Christians  seem 
yet  to  be  standing,  hasten  to  us :  hasten  then  to  us,  our 
own  brothers ;  yea,  we  beseech  you.  Stretch  out  your 
hands  and  raise  us  from  our  knees  ;  suffer  not  the  half  of 
the  world  to  be  swallowed  up  by  error,  nor  faith  to  be 
extinguished  in  the  countries  whence  it  first  shone  forth. 
What  is  most  melancholy  of  all,  even  the  portion  among 
us  which  seems  to  be  sound,  is  divided  in  itself,  so  that 
calamities  beset  us  like  those  which  came  upon  Jerusalem 
when  it  was  besieged." 

One  cannot  read  these  passages  without  thanking  our 
gracious  God  for  the  improved  state  of  things  in  our  own 
c  2 


30  BAS. 

beloved  church  of  England ;  and  if,  from  trje  oppression 
of  hostile  governments,  our  church  is  injured  and  en- 
slaved ;  if  there  be  a  faction  within  the  pale  attempting 
to  deface  every  feature  and  lineament  of  a  church  among 
us,  still  we  are  not  yet  in  so  bad  a  condition  as  the  church 
of  Antioch,  under  Valens. 

Valens  determined,  in  372,  to  take  decided  and  decisive 
measures  against  the  Catholics,  and  found  in  the  prefect 
Modestus  a  ready  instrument  for  his  work.  Modestus  had 
been  baptized  by  the  Arians,  when  paganism  was  the 
fashion  under  Julian,  he  became  a  pagan,  and  now  under 
Valens  he  was  again  an  Arian.  By  the  emperor's  direc- 
tions, this  Arian  minister  commanded  St  Basil  to  receive 
the  Arians  into  communion.  Both  emperor  and  minister 
saw  the  sound  policy  of  thus  healing  at  once  all  religious 
differences :  they  regarded  the  points  of  difference  as  of 
no  importance  ;  but  the  Church  was  not  at  that  time  en- 
slaved to  the  state,  neither  were  bishops  nominees  of  the 
minister,  and  emperor  and  minister  found  the  Church  too 
powerful  for  them.  The  minister  of  Valens  summoned 
before  him  the  minister  of  God,  and  knowing  how  his  own 
worldly  mind  would  be  influenced,  he  endeavoured  first 
by  promises,  and  then  by  threats,  to  prevail  on  St  Basil 
to  yield  to  the  emperor's  demands.  The  colloquy  between 
the  bishop  and  the  minister  is  on  record.  "  What,"  said 
the  insolent  minister,  "  what  is  the  meaning  of  this,  you 
Basil,  that  you  dare  to  resist  so  great  a  prince,  and,  when 
others  yield,  are  still  self-willed."  "  What  would  you  have 
me  do?"  answered  Basil;  "What  is  my  extravagance? 
I  have  not  heard  it." 

"  Modestus.  You  are  not  worshipping  after  the  em- 
peror's manner,  when  the  rest  of  your  party  have  given 
way  and  been  overcome. 

"  Basil.  I  have  a  Sovereign  whose  will  is  otherwise, 
nor  can  I  bring  myself  to  worship  any  creature, — I,  a  crea- 
ture of  God,  and  commanded  to  become  a  partaker  of  the 
divine  nature. 


BAS.  31 

"  Modestus.     For  whom  do  you  take  me  '? 

"  Basil.  For  a  thing  of  nought,  while  such  are  your 
commands. 

"  Modestus.  Is  it,  then,  a  mere  nothing  for  one  like 
you  to  have  rank  like  myself,  and  to  have  my  fellowship. 

"  Basil.  You  are  prefect,  and  in  noble  place ;  I  own 
it.  Yet  God's  majesty  is  greater ;  and  it  is  much  that 
I  am  to  have  your  fellowship,  for  we  are  both  God's  crea- 
tures. But  it  is  as  great  to  be  fellow  to  any  other  of  my 
flock,  for  Christianity  lies  not  in  distinction  of  persons, 
but  in  faith. 

"  The  prefect,  angered  at  this,  rose  from  his  chair,  and 
abruptly   asked  Basil  if  he  did    not  fear  his  power. 

"  Basil.     Fear  what  consequences  *?  what  sufferings  ? 

"Modestus.  One  of  those  many  pains  a  prefect  can 
inflict. 

"  Basil.     Let  me  know  them. 

"  Modestus.     Confiscation,  exile,  tortures,  death. 

"  Basil.  Think  of  some  other  threat.  These  have  no 
influence  upon  me.  He  runs  no  risk  of  confiscation  who 
has  nothing  to  lose,  except  these  mean  garments  and  a 
few  books.  Nor  does  he  care  for  exile,  who  is  not  circum- 
scribed by  place,  who  makes  it  not  a  home  wrhere  he  now 
dwells,  but  everywhere  a  home  whithersoever  he  be  cast, 
or  rather  everywhere  God  s  home,  whose  pilgrim  he  is 
and  wanderer.  Nor  can  tortures  harm  a  frame  so  frail  as 
to  break  under  the  first  blow.  You  could  but  strike 
once,  and  death  would  be  gain.  It  would  but  send 
me  the  sooner  to  Him  for  whom  I  live  and  labour,  nay, 
am  dead  rather  than  live,  to  whom  I  have  long  been 
journeying. 

"  Modestus.  Xo  one  yet  ever  spoke  to  Modestus  with 
such  freedom. 

"  Basil.  Perad venture  Modestus  never  yet  fell  in  with 
a  bishop ;  or  surely  in  a  like  trial  he  would  have  heard 
like  language.  0  prefect,  in  other  things  we  are  gentle, 
and  more  humble  than  all  men  living,  for  such  is  the 
commandment;  so   as  not  to  raise  our  brow.   I  sav  not 


32  BAS. 

against  '  so  great  a  prince,'  but  even  against  one  of  least 
account.  But  when  God's  honour  is  at  stake,  we  think 
of  nothing  else,  looking  simply  to  Him.  Fire  and  the 
sword,  beasts  of  prey,  irons  to  rend  the  flesh,  are  an  in- 
dulgence rather  than  a  terror  to  a  Christian.  Therefore 
insult,  threaten,  do  your  worst,  make  the  most  of  your 
power.  Let  the  emperor  be  informed  of  my  purpose.  Me 
you  gain  not,  you  persuade  not,  to  an  impious  creed,  by 
menaces,  even  more  frightful." 

After  this  conversation,  the  prefect  felt  convinced  that 
no  arguments  he  could  use  would  be  of  sufficient  force  to 
subdue  such  heroic  courage ;  he  therefore  suffered  Basil 
to  depart,  and  could  not  refrain,  in  taking  leave  of  him, 
from  testifying  his  respect  for  his  principles.  On  his 
return  to  the  emperor,  "Prince,"  said  he  to  him,  "we 
are  vanquished  :  the  bishop  of  Caesarea  is  one  of  those 
men  whom  threats  cannot  terrify,  arguments  convince, 
or  promises  seduce."  The  emperor  was  wise  enough  to 
forbear  from  violence  towards  such  an  adversary,  and, 
perhaps,  generous  enough  to  admire  the  very  integrity  he 
had  hoped  to  corrupt ;  Basil  was  therefore  left  in  peace, 
as  far  as  his  own  personal  safety,  and  that  of  the  people 
immediately  under  his  care  was  concerned. 

Valens  even  went  further ;  he  attended  the  church 
accompanied  by  his  court,  on  the  feast  of  Epiphany,  and 
heard  Basil  preach.  And  he  was  deeply  affected  by  what 
he  saw  and  heard ;  by  the  solemnity  of  the  psalms, 
chanted  antiphonally,  by  the  reverence,  devotion,  and 
order  which  prevailed  in  the  congregation,  as  well  as  by 
the  sermon  of  Basil.  The  holy  bishop  standing  at  the 
altar,  fixed  in  his  great  ministry,  and  his  mind  entirely 
taken  up  with  the  God  he  adored,  and  all  who  at- 
tended him  full  of  reverence  and  respect,  was  a  glo- 
rious sight,  and  inspired  in  him  such  awe  for  the 
service  of  God,  and  such  a  respect  for  our  great  pre- 
late, that  when  he  was  to  carry  his  offering  to  the  holy 
table,  he  trembled  so  violently  that  he  must  have  fallen, 
had    not   one   of  the   ministers   of  the   altar   supported 


BAS.  33 

him.  This  offering,  as  we  learn  from  St  Gregory  Nazian- 
zen's  account,  was  bread  which  every  communicant  made 
with  his  own  hands,  and  was  consecrated  in  the  holy 
mysteries. 

This  was  not  the  only  time  that  Valens  appeared  at 
church.  He  one  day  went  within  the  veil,  into  what  some 
suppose  to  have  been  the  vestry,  others  the  enclosure  of 
the  altar,  where  the  emperors  were  admitted,  according  to 
the  custom  of  the  eastern  churches.  That  prince  had  been 
long  desirous  of  conversing  with  St  Basil,  and  took  this 
opportunity  of  enjoying  that  pleasure.  Their  discourse 
turned  on  matters  of  faith ;  St  Gregory  Xazianzen,  who 
made  one  at  the  conference,  assures  us  that  the  principal 
officers  of  the  court,  who  were  present  on  that  occasion, 
were  obliged  to  own  that  Basil  talked  divinely ;  and 
Theodoret,  after  giving  us  the  same  account,  tells  us  the 
emperor  was  so  well  pleased  with  his  discourse,  that  he 
became  more  gentle  to  the  Catholics,  and  gave  a  good 
estate  in  that  neighbourhood  for  the  relief  of  lepers,  of 
whom  the  holy  bishop  took  care,  and  afterwards  erected 
an  hospital  for  their  reception. 

Basil,  though  so  firm  in  principle,  was  at  the  same  time 
a  conciliator,  and  finding  that  many  of  the  semi-arians 
were  orthodox  in  fact,  though  not  in  form,  he  dealt  so 
gently  with  them,  that  he  had  at  one  time  to  defend  him- 
self from  the  charge  of  being  one  of  the  number.  [See 
the  life  of  Basil  of  Ancyra,  infra.']  This  he  could  easily  do, 
though  his  attachment  to  Eustathius,  whom  he  refused  to 
denounce,  until  proof  of  his  guilt  became  too  apparent  to 
be  denied,  involved  him  in  much  trouble.  Eustathius,  of 
Sebaste,  a  finished  hypocrite,  had  been  the  friend  and 
companion  of  St  Basil,  on  his  first  retirement  to  Pontus  : 
the  form  which  the  fanaticism  of  the  age  assumed  was 
that  of  asceticism,  and,  won  by  the  assumed  asceticism  of 
Eustathius,  St  Basil  gave  him  his  friendship,  although 
his  integrity  was  suspected  by  almost  every  one  else.  In 
372  or  373  the  eyes  of  Basil  were  opened,  but  it  was 
only  by  degrees ;  such  was  the  firmness  of  his  friendship. 


34  BAS. 

He  was  invited  by  Theodotus,  bishop  of  Nicopolis,  in 
Little  Armenia,  to  a  council,  in  which  the  conduct  and 
principles  of  Eustathius  were  to  be  considered;  as  Sebaste 
was  situated  within  the  province  of  Theodotus,  and 
Theodotus  had  refused  communion  with  Eustathius  as 
an  Arian.  St  Basil,  like  a  true  friend,  determined  first 
to  have  an  interview  with  Eustathius,  who  satisfied  him 
of  his  orthodoxy.  Theodotus,  in  consequence,  revoked 
the  invitation  he  had  sent  to  Basil,  and  Basil  meekly,  and 
without  resenting  the  insult,  returned  to  Caesarea.  He 
still  continued,  notwithstanding  the  injury  his  own  cha- 
racter sustained  by  his  conduct,  to  defend  Eustathius, 
and  in  order  to  satisfy  the  Armenian  bishops  of  his 
orthodoxy,  he  undertook  to  make  him  sign  an  orthodox 
confession,  containing  the  Nicene  creed,  and  condemning 
not  only  the  Arian  heresy,  but  the  heresies  also  of  Mar 
cellus  and  Sabellius.  Eustathius  signed  the  confession, 
and  in  order  to  acquit  him,  St  Basil,  in  the  zeal  of  his 
friendship,  called  a  synod  of  the  bishops  of  Cappadocia 
and  Armenia ;  when  the  assembled  prelates  were  perhaps 
less  astonished  than  Basil,  to  hear  that  Eustathius  had 
revoked  his  subscription.  He  had  been  tampered  with 
by  the  court ;  he  thought  that  Valens  was  more  likely  to 
be  a  good  patron  than  Basil ;  and  becoming  a  supporter 
of  government,  though  the  government  was  hostile  to  the 
Church,  he  declaimed  with  fury  against  the  Catholics  in 
general,  and  especially  against  Basil,  who  did  not  con- 
descend to  enter  into  controversy  with  him,  but  considered 
the  calumnies  of  Eustathius  to  be  sufficiently  refuted  by 
the  comparison  which  all  who  knew  them  both  were 
capable  of  instituting  between  the  conduct  and  the  cha- 
racters of  the  two  men. 

But  in  one  instance  he  wTas  obliged  to  come  forward  in 
defence  not  of  himself  but  of  his  church.  Eustathius, 
by  his  intrigues,  caused  the  separation  of  a  portion 
of  the  coast  of  Pontus  from  the  church  of  Caesarea, 
and  St  Basil  addressed  an  expostulation  to  the  sepa- 
ratists :  "  Hitherto,"  he  wrote,   "  I  have  lived  in  much 


BAS.  35 

affliction  and  grief,  ever  reflecting  that  you  are  wanting 
to  me.  For  when  God  tells  me, — even  God  who  became 
incarnate  for  the  very  purpose  that  by  patterns  of 
duty,  He  might  regulate  our  life,  and  might  by  His 
own  voice  announce  to  us  the  gospel  of  the  kingdom — 
when  He,  even  God  saith,  ■  By  this  shall  men  know 
that  ye  are  My  disciples,  if  ye  love  one  another;' 
and  whereas  the  Lord  left  His  true  peace  to  His  disciples 
as  a  favourite  gift,  when  about  to  complete  the  dispensa- 
tion in  the  flesh,  saying,  "  Peace  I  leave  with  you,  My 
peace  I  give  unto  you,"  I  cannot  persuade  myself  that 
without  love  to  others,  and  without,  as  far  as  rests  with 
me,  peaceableness  towards  all,  I  can  be  called  a  worthy 
servant  of  Jesus  Christ.  I  have  waited  a  long  while  for 
the  chance  of  your  love  paying  us  a  visit.  For  ye  are  not 
ignoraut  that  we,  being  exposed  to  all,  as  rocks  running 
out  into  the  sea,  sustain  the  fury  of  the  heretical  waves, 
which,  in  that  they  break  around  us,  do  not  cover  the 
district  behind.  I  say  '  we,'  in  order  to  refer  it,  not  to 
human  power,  but  to  the  grace  of  God,  who,  by  the 
weakness  of  men  shows  His  power,  as  says  the  prophet 
in  the  person  of  the  Lord,  '  Will  ye  not  fear  Me,  who 
have  placed  the  sand  as  a  boundary  to  the  sea  ?'  for 
by  the  weakest  and  most  contemptible  of  all  things, 
the  sand,  the  Mighty  One  has  bounded  the  great  and 
full  sea.  Since,  then,  this  is  our  position,  it  became 
your  love  to  be  frequent  in  sending  true  brothers,  to 
visit  us  who  labour  in  the  storm,  and  more  frequently 
letters  of  love,  partly  to  confirm  our  courage,  partly  to 
correct  any  mistake  of  ours.  For  we  confess  that  we  are 
liable  to  numberless  mistakes,  being  men,  and  living  in 
the  flesh. 

"  Let  not  this  consideration  influence  you.  '  We  dwell 
on  the  sea,  we  are  exempt  from  the  sufferings  of  the  gene- 
rality, we  need  no  succour  from  others  ;  so  what  is  the 
good  to  us  of  foreign  communion?'  For  the  same  Lord 
who  divided  the  islands  from  the  continent  by  the  sea, 
bound  the  island  Christians  to  the  continental  by  love. 


36  BAS. 

Nothing,  brethren,  separates  us  from  each  other,  but  de- 
liberate estrangement.  We  have  one  Lord,  one  faith,  the 
same  hope.  The  hands  need  each  other ;  the  feet  steady 
each  other.  The  eyes  possess  their  clear  apprehension 
from  agreement.  We,  for  our  part,  confess  our  own 
weakness,  and  we  seek  your  fellow-feeling.  For  we  are 
assured,  that  though  ye  are  not  present  in  body,  yet  by 
the  aid  of  prayer,  ye  will  do  us  much  benefit  in  these 
most  critical  times.  It  is  neither  decorous  before  men, 
nor  pleasing  to  God,  that  you  should  make  avowals  which 
not  even  the  gentiles  adopt,  which  know  not  God.  Even 
they,  as  we  hear,  though  the  country  they  live  in  be  suffi- 
cient for  all  things,  yet,  on  account  of  the  uncertainty  of 
the  future,  make  much  of  alliances  with  each  other,  and 
seek  mutual  intercourse  as  being  advantageous  to  them. 
Yet  we,  the  sons  of  fathers  who  have  laid  down  the  law, 
that  by  brief  notes  the  proofs  of  communion  should  be 
carried  about  from  one  end  of  the  earth  to  the  other,  and 
that  all  should  be  citizens  and  familiars  with  all,  now 
sever  ourselves  from  the  whole  world,  and  are  neither 
ashamed  at  our  solitariness,  nor  shudder  that  on  us 
is  fallen  the  fearful  prophecy  of  the  Lord,  ■  Because  of 
lawlessness  abounding,  the  love  of  the  many  shall  wax 
cold."' 

Although  we  know  not  what  effect  this  striking  epistle 
had  upon  the  separatists,  it  is  given  here  as  illustrative  of 
St  Basil's  character ;  a  peculiarity  of  which  displayed 
itself  in  his  conduct  towards  Gregory  Nazianzen.  There 
is  a  jealousy  in  friendship  which  is  apt  to  evince  itself 
when  of  two  friends  who  lived  on  terms  of  equality,  one 
is  advanced  to  a  high  station.  And  in  Gregory's  sensitive 
nature  this  was  to  be  expected.  Soon  after  Basil's  ap- 
pointment to  the  exarchate,  Basil  seems  to  have  been 
annoyed  at  Gregory's  keeping  aloof  from  him,  and  Gregory 
seems  to  have  kept  aloof,  thinking  that  Basil  ought  to 
have  pressed  his  attendance.  We  suspect  the  existence 
of  some  such  almost  unconscious  sensitiveness  on  the 
part  of  Gregory,   though   doubtless   he    was    sincere    in 


BAS.  37 

stating  that  the  reason  of  his  staying  away,  was  a  feeling 
of  delicacy  lest  his  friend  should  appear  to  be  collecting 
partizans  about  him.  When  Gregory  did  visit  St  Basil, 
though  he  was  received  with  every  mark  of  attention  and 
respect,  he  did  not  remain  long  in  Caasarea,  and  in  their 
subsequent  correspondence  there  appears  to  have  been  a 
little  touchiness  on  both  sides.  These  mutual  heart- 
burnings ended  at  last  in  a  quarrel,  under  the  circum- 
stances about  to  be  related. 

The  province  of  Cappadocia  was  found  to  be  too  large 
for  one  civil  magistrate,  and  being  divided  into  two,  the 
two  provinces  had  Caesarea  and  Tyana  for  their  respective 
capitals.  Anthemus,  the  bishop  of  Tyana,  immediately 
made  the  attempt  to  erect  his  city  into  a  metropolitan 
see,  and  thus  to  sever  half  the  province  from  the  arch- 
bishop of  Caesarea.  Hence  a  controversy  ensued ;  on  the 
one  side  was  Basil  and  justice,  on  the  other  the  arian- 
izing  bishops,  and  all  the  low  church  party  who  had 
opposed  the  election  of  Basil.  On  this  occasion  Gregory 
offered  his  assistance  to  his  friend,  though  not  without  a 
hint  that  there  had  been  mismanagement  on  the  side  of 
Basil.  "  I  will  come  to  you,"  wrote  Gregory,  "  if  you 
wish  it ;  if  so  be,  to  advise  with  you,  if  the  sea  wants 
water,  or  you  a  counsellor ;  at  all  events,  to  gain  benefit 
and  act  the  philosopher,  by  bearing  ill  usage  in  your 
company." 

Gregory  accordingly  attended  Basil  in  his  visitation  of 
the  second  Cappadocia ;  and  when  the  archbishop  deter- 
mined on  the  erection  of  certain  new  bishoprics  in  the 
district,  and  appointed  Gregory  to  that  of  Sasima,  Basil 
thought  much  of  the  Church  and  too  little  of  his  friend. 
He  'thought  that  Gregory  could  not  be  more  usefully 
employed  than  in  the  superintendence  of  the  church  of 
Sasima,  and  therefore,  without  regard  to  his  feelings,  he 
immediately  placed  him  there.  Whereas  Gregory  was 
thinking  chiefly  of  his  friend,  and  only  came  into  Cappa- 
docia that  he  might  be  near  to  him,  have  frequent 
vol.  ii.  n 


38  BAS„ 

intercourse  with  him,  and  become  his  adviser.  When  he 
found  that  Basil  acted  as  if  he  disregarded  him  as  a 
counsellor  and  seemed  to  make  light  of  his  friendship,  his 
sensitive  nature  was  deeply  wounded.  He  wrote  a  very 
indignant  letter  on  the  subject  to  Basil ;  and  although 
Gregory,  to  use  a  common  expression,  "  lost  himself"  on 
the  occasion,  by  thinking  more  highly  of  himself  than  a 
Christian  man  ought  to  do,  yet  certainly  it  does  seem 
that  Basil  might  have  found  an  inferior  man  better  quali- 
fied for  the  situation  at  Sasima,  than  the  sensitive  Gre- 
gory, who,  writing  with  some  heat,  exclaimed :  "  Give  me 
peace  and  quiet  above  all  things.  Why  should  I  be 
fighting  for  sucklings  and  birds,  which  are  not  mine,  as  if 
in  a  matter  of  souls  and- church  rules?  Well,  play  the 
man,  be  strong,  turn  every  thing  to  your  own  glory,  as 
rivers  suck  up  the  mountain  rill,  thinking  little  of  friend- 
ship or  intimacy,  compared  with  high  aims  and  piety, 
and  disregarding  what  the  wrorld  will  think  of  you  for 
all  this,  being  the  property  of  the  Spirit  alone  ;  while,  on 
my  part,  so  much  shall  I  gain  from  this  your  friendship, 
not  to  trust  in  friends,  nor  to  put  anything  above  God." 

We  conclude  our  reference  to  this  unhappy  dispute, 
with  a  remark,  which  in  effect  we  made  before,  that  all 
the  ardour  of  friendship  was  on  the  side  of  Gregory,  and 
that  he  received  in  return  from  Basil,  the  respect  and 
esteem  which  such  attachment  and  so  much  virtue  could 
not  fail  to  conciliate,  rather  than  that  enthusiastic  admira- 
tion and  warmth  of  affection,  in  which  true  friendship 
consists.  The  estrangement  was  not  of  long  duration, 
though  to  the  last,  even  when  apologizing  for  his  friend 
after  his  death,  for  this  very  transaction,  the  wounded 
feelings  of  Gregory  betrayed  themselves. 

We  have  alluded  already  to  a  grant  of  land  which  St 
Basil  obtained  from  Valens,  and  many  other  grants  he 
obtained  from  the  wealthy  and  the  noble,  thinking  that 
he  benefited  them  by  whatever  he  could  draw  from  their 
superfluous  stores,  for  the  good  of  the  poor.     With  funds 


BAS.  39 

thus  collected,  he  accomplished  one  of  the  noblest  under- 
takings ever  planned  by  human  benevolence,  the  Ptocho- 
tropheion,  called  also,  the  Basileias,  an  hospital,  and 
workhouse  combined,  which  Gregory  describes  in  the  fol- 
lowing terms.  This  "  new  town,  raised  on  the  confines 
of  the  old,  was  open  to  every  description  of  human 
misery  and  necessity ;  in  it,  all  the  infirmities  and  acci- 
dents to  which  our  material  nature  is  liable  were  care- 
fully attended  to ;  medical  attendants,  nurses,  guides  for 
the  blind,  the  crippled,  and  the  aged,  were  attached  to  it : 
and,  in  the  true  spirit  of  Christian  charity,  spacious 
apartments  were  added  expressly  for  the  lepers,  who,  till 
then  chased  from  place  to  place,  and  even  driven  out  of 
all  human  haunts,  found  there  the  attentions  and  solace 
which  their  peculiar  affliction  so  earnestly  called  for. 
Here,  likewise,  strangers  were  received  with  brotherly 
cordiality,  and  treated  with  liberal  though  simple  hospi- 
tality. Careful,  at  the  same  time,  that  a  charity  meant 
for  the  amelioration  of  the  human  race  should  in  no  way 
be  suffered  to  minister  to  its  corruptions,  Basil  provided 
spacious  rooms  and  workshops  for  different  handicrafts 
and  mechanical  occupations,  where  all  who  were  desirous 
of  employment  could  obtain  it :  and  where  those  who 
might  be  able  were  required  to  add  their  quota,  towards 
the  funds  of  which  they  were  reaping  the  benefits  ;  for  he 
knew  the  human  heart  too  well  not  to  dread  the  evils  of 
idleness ;  aware  that  nothing  injures  moral  integrity  so 
soon  as  a  willingness  to  live  in  a  state  of  indolence, 
dependent  on  the  exertion  of  others.  "  Happy  is  he  who 
supports  his  neighbour,"  says  St  Ambrose;  "but  woe 
unto  him  who  needlessly  allows  his  neighbour  to  support 
him." 

This  appears  to  be  a  model  for  an  infirmary  and  a 
workhouse. 

The  health  of  Basil,  always  delicate,  had  become  very 
bad  in  the  year  373,  and  so  continued  till  his  death : 
nevertheless,  in  374  he  commenced  his  celebrated  work, 
De  Spiritu  Sancto ;  and  in  376  was  roused  to  publish  a 


40  BAS. 

circular,  in  reply  to  the  calumnies  of  Eustathius.  To  his 
ill  health  we  may  attribute  the  reserve,  and  as  we  should 
say,  nervousness,  of  which  he  has  been  sometimes  accused 
by  his  enemies,  and  which  was  regarded  by  some  after 
his  elevation,  as  a  sign  of  pride.  But,  as  Gregory  asks, 
"Is  it  possible  for  a  man  to  embrace  lepers,  abasing 
himself  so  far,  and  yet  be  supercilious  towards  those  in 
health  ?" 

At  length,  worn  out  by  the  austerities  of  his  life,  the 
ardour  of  his  zeal,  the  extent  of  his  labors,  and  the 
repeated  attacks  of  his  disorder,  this  great  man  found  his 
end  approaching.  He  called  his  friends  and  disciples 
around  him,  and  having  blessed  them,  and  commended 
them  to  God,  he  made  such  arrangements  as  he  thought 
necessary  for  the  Church  militant,  ere  his  spirit  passed 
unto  the  Church  triumphant,  and  having  conjured  them 
with  his  dying  breath,  to  hold  fast  the  faith,  to  be  un- 
wearied in  well-doing,  and  to  love  one  another,  he  departed 
this  life,  calmly  saying,  "  Lord  Jesus,  into  Thy  hands  I 
commend  my  spirit." 

His  death  occurred  on  the  first  of  January,  379 ;  and 
never  was  a  death  more  universally  lamented :  all  persons, 
even  jews  and  heathens,  went  forth  to  honour  his  remains 
as  his  body  was  carried  to  the  grave  :  and  his  funeral, 
from  the  prodigious  concourse  of  people  that  attended  it, 
including  almost  all  the  most  dignified  persons  in  the 
country,  afforded  an  extraordinary  contrast  to  the  poverty 
and  simplicity  of  his  own  habits  during  life. 

The  Benedictine  edition  of  St  Basil  was  edited  by 
Julian  Grander,  and  was  published  at  Paris,  in  folio,  in 
17-21,  17 '2'2,  and  1730.  The  Basil  edition  was  published 
in  1551,  and  another  folio  edition  in  1638. — Life  of 
Basil,  in  third  volume  of  Benedictine  edition.  Basilii  Opera. 
Gregor.  Nazian.  Cave.  Church  of  the  Fathers.  Fleury. 
TiUcrnont. 

Basil.  The  friend  and  fellow-student  of  St  Chrysostom, 
of  whom  all  that  is  known  is  to  be  gathered  from  the 


BAS.  11 

following  passage  from  the  first  book  of  St  Chrysostom  de 
Sacerdotio  ;  that  book  being  the  record  of  certain  conver- 
sations between  St  Chrysostom  and  the  subject  of  the 
present  article : 

"  He  was  one  of  my  constant  companions  ;  we  pursued 
the  same  sciences,  attended  the  same  instructors ;  the 
same  purposes  in  learning,  the  same  care  was  common 
to  both,  and  to  both,  from  like  matters,  like  desires  arose. 
Xor  was  this  only  while  we  were  under  discipline,  but  also 
when  freed  from  it  it  behoved  us  to  consider  what  course 
in  life  was  most  worthy  to  be  chosen — even  then  we  held 
the  same  opinion. 

"  There  were  other  things  also  which  preserved  unbro- 
ken this  unanimity.  Neither  of  us  could  boast  himself 
above  the  other  on  account  of  distinction  of  country :  I 
had  no  great  hope  of  fortune — he  was  oppressed  by  ex- 
treme poverty.  The  similarity  of  our  fortunes  kept  pace 
with  our  intentions ;  our  families  were  of  equal  rank  ;  and 
in  all  things  we  corresponded  in  our  wishes. 

"  When,  however,  the  time  approached  for  this  blessed 
man  to  embrace  the  monastic  life  and  the  true  philosophy, 
then  the  balance  lost  its  equilibrium — his  scale,  from  its 
lightness,  mounted  upward ;  whilst  I,  then  entangled  by 
worldly  desires,  depressed  mine  overloaded  with  youthful 
fancies.  Even  here  our  friendship  was  as  firm  as  ever, 
but  our  intimacy  was  interrupted  ;  nor  can  it  exist  between 
those  who  are  not  united  by  the  same  pursuits.  Yet,  when 
I  raised  my  head  a  little  from  out  the  waves  of  this  life, 
he  seized  me  with  both  his  hands;  but  we  could  no 
longer  regain  our  former  equality.  He  had  outstripped 
me  in  time,  and  by  unremitting  application  had  soared  far 
beyond  me.  So  kind  was  he,  and  so  highly  did  he  estimate 
my  friendship  that,  withdrawing  himself  from  all  inter- 
course with  others,  he  passed  all  his  time  with  me,  which, 
as  I  have  said,  was  previously  his  wish,  but  had  been  pre- 
vented by  my  indifference.  Xor  was  it  possible  for  any 
one  who  attended  the  courts  of  justice,  and  who  pursued 
d  2 


42  BAS. 

scenic  entertainments,  to  be  intimate  with  another  who 
devoted  himself  to  books  and  never  approached  the  forum. 
For  this  reason,  in  spite  of  all  former  repulse,  that  he 
might  allure  me  to  the  same  course  of  life  with  himself, 
the  desire  that  he  had  long  laboured  with,  he  quickly  gave 
birth  to  ;  and  suffering  no  part  of  the  day  to  be  spent  away 
from  me,  he  assiduously  advised  our  leaving  our  homes, 
and  passing  our  lives  together.  He  gained  my  consent, 
and  thus  the  matter  stood.  But  the  endearments  of  an 
anxious  mother  opposed  my  granting  him  this  favour,  or 
rather,  my  accepting  this  kindness  from  him. 

"  While  matters  stood  thus  between  us — he  frequently 
importuning,  I  in  my  turn  refusing — a  rumour  newly 
risen  disturbed  us  both :  it  was  reported  that  we  were 
about  to  be  promoted  to  the  episcopal  dignity.  When  I 
heard  this  I  was  struck  at  once  with  fear  and  perplexity . 
with  fear,  lest  I  should  be  taken  against  my  will ;  with 
perplexity,  when  I  strove  to  discover  by  what  means  it 
had  entered  mens'  minds  to  think  of  a  matter  of  this 
nature  for  us.  For  when  I  examined  myself,  I  found  no 
sufficient  cause  for  such  an  honour.  But  my  generous 
friend,  coming  to  me  privately,  mentioned  the  rumour  to 
me,  as  if  I  were  ignorant  of  it,  and  begged  we  might 
here  seem  as  unanimous  as  before  in  our  designs  and 
actions.  As  for  him,  he  was  prepared  to  follow  the  course 
I  might  adopt,  whether  rejection  or  acceptance  of  the 
office.  Having  perceived  therefore  in  him  so  ready  an 
inclination,  and  having  considered,  that  if  through  my 
infirmity  I  deprived  the  flock  of  Christ  of  so  good  a  mind, 
and  one  so  qualified  to  guide  it,  I  should  do  an  injury  to 
the  whole  church  community,  I  concealed  the  opinion  I 
held,  though  I  had  never  before  suffered  any  of  my 
designs  to  be  hidden  from  him ;  but  telling  him  it  were 
better  to  defer  our  consideration  of  this  subject  to  another 
time,  (nor  was  it  in  truth  an  urgent  matter)  I  soon  per- 
suaded him  to  think  no  more  about  it ;  as  far  as  I  was 
concerned,  I  assured  him,  if  the  thing  should  come  to 
pass,  he  might  rely  on  my  concurrence.     After  no  great 


BAS.  48 

length  of  time,  as  the  day  for  the  imposition  of  hands 
drew  nigh,  I  concealed  myself  unknown  to  him  :  my 
friend,  led  on  by  some  other  pretence,  received  ordination, 
relying  on  my  promises  of  following  him,  or  rather  he 
hoping  to  follow  me.  Some  of  those  who  were  present 
witnessing  his  uneasiness  at  being  thus  caught,  misled 
him  by  declaring,  that  it  was  absurd  that  he  who  in  all 
things  appeared  to  be  the  bolder  of  the  two,  (meaning  me) 
should  yield  with  so  much  modesty  to  the  determination 
of  the  fathers  ;  and  that  he,  usually  the  milder  and  the 
more  prudent,  should  be  so  confident  and  vain  as  to  resist 
it.  He  yielded  to  these  remonstrances :  but  when  he 
heard  that  I  had  fled  purposely,  he  approached  me  with 
shame  and  sorrow ;  he  seated  himself  near  me,  and  strove 
to  give  utterance  to  something.  But  his  grief  prevented 
him  ;  nor  could  he  summon  courage  to  utter  a  word,  his 
anguish  of  mind  cutting  off  all  he  intended  to  say  before 
it  had  passed  his  lips.  When,  however,  I  saw  him  so 
bedewed  with  tears  and  troubled,  knowiDg  the  cause, 
I  smiled  with  delight,  and  seizing  his  hand,  made  an 
effort  to  salute  him ;  glorifying  God,  who  gave  me  that 
favourable  issue  to  my  stratagem,  for  which  I  had  always 
prayed." 

In  the  Benedictiue  edition  of  St  Chrysostom,  this  Basil 
is  supposed  to  have  been  bishop  of  Rappauea,  near 
Antioch,  a  prelate  wTho  was  present  at  the  council  of 
Constantinople,  in  381.  Dupin  cannot  decide  whether 
this  conjecture  or  another,  that  he  was  a  bishop  of  Byblos, 
in  Phcenicia,  be  the  most  probable. — Chrysostom,  de 
Sacerdotio. 

Basil,  of  Ancyra.  Of  the  personal  history  of  this 
Basil  little  is  known ;  he  was  one  of  the  leaders  of  the 
Semi-arian  party  which  existed  in  the  Church  during  the 
fourth  century.  On  referring  to  the  life  of  Arius,  the 
reader  will  perceive  what  the  Arian  doctrines  are,  and 
that  the  heresiarch  received  the  countenance  of  a  party 
headed  by  Eusebius,  and  thence  frequently  styled  Euse- 


44  BAS. 

bians.  These  persons  were  more  anxious  to  maintain  a 
party  than  to  establish  a  dogma,  or  rather  the  Arian 
dogma  was  valued  by  them  as  the  distinction  of  then- 
party,  and  they  were  willing  to  modify  or  explain  their 
dogma,  according  to  circumstances :  they  were  especially 
desirous  of  conciliating  the  Latins,  and  endeavoured  to 
persuade  them  that  the  difference  between  themselves  and 
the  orthodox  was  chiefly  verbal,  and  relating  to  the  word 
Homo-ousion.  They  had  in  consequence  admitted  the 
use  of  the  term  Homoi-ousion,  by  which  it  was  asserted 
that  the  Son  was  of  a  like  nature  with  the  Father.  But 
although  the  leaders  were  influenced  merely  by  party 
feelings,  those  who  were  brought  into  the  vortex  of  the 
party  by  the  circumstances  under  which  they  were 
placed,  and  were  honest  in  heart,  received  the  dogma 
as  a  reality,  and  perplexed  the  party  leaders  by  binding 
them  down  to  the  real  import  of  those  words,  which  had 
originally  been  chosen  as  mere  evasions  of  orthodoxy. 
The  Homoi-ousion  being  thus  received,  many  persons 
were  found  to  explain  it  almost  in  the  orthodox  sense ; 
their  dispute  with  the  Catholics  did  in  many  instances 
become  little  more  than  verbal,  and  hence  they  were 
dealt  with  gently  by  such  men  as  St  Basil  the  great. 
The  Semi-arians  were  found  to  be  as  strongly  opposed 
to  the  pure  Arians,  as  those  who  accepted  the  Nicene 
test.  Thus  was  the  word,  first  invented  as  an  evasion 
by  the  Arians,  used  as  a  test  against  them  by  the  Semi- 
arians,  who  merely  refused  to  accept  the  Homo-ousion 
because  they  imagined  that  it  implied  an  approach 
to  Sabellianism.  But  although  the  Semi-arians  repudiated 
the  evasion  of  the  Eusebians  or  pure  Arians,  that  the 
word  Son  had  but  a  secondary  sense,  and  that  our  Lord 
was  in  reality  a  creature,  though  not  like  other  creatures ; 
nevertheless,  when  they  formed  a  distinct  party,  their 
creed  was  condemned  by  the  orthodox,  as  involving  those 
contradictions  in  terms,  which  the  Nicene  doctrine 
escapes :  the  Semi-arians  maintained  against  the  Arians 
that  the  Son  was  born  before   all   time,   and  yet  they  con- 


BAS.  45 

tended  against  the  Catholics  that  He  was  not  eternal :  in 
opposition  to  the  Arians  they  asserted  that  He  was  not  a 
creature,  and  yet  they  refused  to  assent  to  the  Catholic 
truth  that  He  is  God  :  they  affirmed  Him  to  be  of  His 
substance,  so  again  opposing  the  Arians, — yet  not  of  the 
same  substance,  and  thus  rejecting  the  Homo-ousion. 
Thus  they  tried  to  hold  the  via  media  in  the  controversy, 
and  in  so  doing  were  led  into  these  contradictions,  which 
were  gradually  discovered  by  the  more  earnest-minded 
among  them,  and  led  them  to  embrace  the  Catholic  truth. 

The  Semi- arians  seem  in  fact  to  have  consisted  of  the 
really  religious  men  who  were  at  first  involved  in  the 
Arian  faction  ;  and  Semi-arianism,  with  its  contradictory 
propositions,  was  the  first  step  towards  a  return  to 
orthodoxy. 

Such  was  the  party  of  which  Basil  of  Ancyra  was  one. 
He  was  a  native  of  Ancyra,  and  of  that  see  he  was  made 
bishop  by  the  Eusebiau  council  of  Constantinople,  in 
336,  when  Marcellus  was  deposed. 

Marcellus  had  been  an  energetic  defender  of  the 
Catholic  faith  at  Nice,  but  in  defending  the  truth  he 
afterwards  approached  the  very  verge  of  Sabellianism, 
having  contended  that  the  Logos  was  the  eternal  wisdom  of 
God,  and  could  be  called  the  Son  of  God  only  whilst  dwel- 
ling in  the  human  form.  He,  nevertheless,  so  explained 
his  positions  as  to  maintain  or  recover  his  orthodoxy, 
which  was  acknowledged  by  Julius,  bishop  of  Rome,  by 
St  Athanasius,  and  by  the  council  of  Sardica;  although  on 
the  other  hand,  later  Catholic  Fathers,  Basil  the  great,  St 
Chrysostom,  and  others,  condemn  him.  Against  him 
Basil  employed  his  pen,  in  a  work  which  has  been  lost. 
But  whatever  was  the  character  of  the  doctrine  taught  by 
Marcellus,  his  pupil,  Photinus,  bishop  of  Smyrna,  taught 
Sabellianism  without  disguise,  and  was  condemned,  not 
only  by  the  Eusebians  at  the  council  of  Antioch,  in  343, 
but  even  by  the  western  church,  at  a  council  held  at 
Milan,  in  346.  At  the  first  council  of  Sirmium,  in  351, 
he  met  a  formidable  opponent  in  Basil ;  a  disputation 


46  BAS. 

being  carried  on  between  them  in  the  presence  of  Con- 
stantius.    Photinus  was  formally  deprived  of  his  bishopric. 

Basil,  having  thus  attacked  a  heresy  in  the  one  ex- 
treme, encountered  the  opposite  heresy  at  the  second 
synod  of  Sirmium,  in  357,  where  the  pure  Arians  first 
met  with  an  organized  opposition  from  a  section  of  their 
own  party.  The  pure  Arians  were  in  this  synod  the 
stronger  party,  and  rejected  every  form  of  the  Homoi- 
ousion  doctrine.  They  were  henceforth  known  by  the 
name  of  Anomseans,  persons  who  held  the  Son  to  be 
unlike  the  Father, — adopting  the  notions  of  Arius  without 
any  variation.  Basil,  to  oppose  them,  assembled  a  synod 
at  Ancyra,  in  358,  at  which  the  Semi-arian  doctrine  was 
confirmed  and  the  Arian  rejected.  Through  the  persua- 
sive eloquence  of  Basil,  the  emperor  Constantius  was  led 
to  unite  himself  with  the  Semi-arian  party,  and  a  third 
synod  at  Sirmium,  in  358,  rejected  the  confession  of  faith 
adopted  at  the  second,  and  confirmed  the  anathemas  of 
the  synod  of  Ancyra.  From  this  time  the  strife  between 
the  Arians  and  Semi-arians  was  incessant,  and  the  faction 
destroyed  itself,  while  Catholic  truth  was  every  where 
gaining  ground. 

Basil  used  all  his  influence  with  the  emperor  to  obtain 
the  convocation  of  an  oecumenical  council,  but  counter 
influence  was  used  by  the  Eusebians,  under  Acacius,  of 
Caesarea,  and  the  intrigues  on  both  sides  ended  in  the 
meeting  of  a  double  council,  one  at  Seleucia,  and  the 
other  at  Ariminum ;  the  first  for  the  prelates  of  the  east, 
and  the  other  for  those  of  the  west.  Although  the  council 
of  Seleucia  had  sanctioned  the  Semi-arian  creed,  Con- 
stantius was  persuaded  by  deputies  from  both  councils, 
and  by  the  influence  of  Acacius,  to  believe  that  Basil  was 
the  sole  impediment  to  the  peace  of  the  the  Church.  He 
summoned  a  council  of  neighbouring  bishops,  chiefly 
those  of  Bithynia  :  various  charges  of  a  civil  and  ecclesi- 
astical nature  were  here  alleged  against  Basil  and  other 
Semi-arians,  with  what  degree  of  truth  it  is  impossible  at 


BAS.  47 

this  day  to  determine,   and  sentence  of  deposition  was 
pronounced  against  them.     This  was  in  the  year  360. 

Of  Basil  nothing  more  is  heard  except  that  he  pre- 
sented a  petition  for  restitution  to  the  orthodox  em- 
peror Jovian,  in  364,  without  success.  He  probably 
died  in  exile. — Maimbourg.  Newman.  Fleury.  Gfuiseler. 
Lardner. 

Basil,  Martyr  and  Saint,  was  a  priest  of  Ancyra,  and 
a  contemporary  of  the  bishop,  to  whom  the  preceding 
article  refers.  He  distinguished  himself  by  his  orthodoxy 
when  the  court  was  Arian,  and  was  suspended  from  his 
priestly  functions  by  the  Arian  council  of  Constantinople, 
in  360. 

When  Julian  the  apostate  re-established  idolatry,  and 
left  no  means  untried  to  pervert  the  faithful,  Basil  ran 
through  the  whole  city,  exhorting  the  Christians  to 
continue  stedfast,  and  not  pollute  themselves  with  the 
sacrifices  and  libations  of  the  heathens,  but  fight  manfully 
in  the  cause  of  God.  The  heathens  laid  violent  hands 
on  him,  and  dragged  him  before  Satuminus,  the  pro- 
consul, accusing  him  of  sedition,  of  having  overturned 
altars,  that  he  stirred  up  the  people  against  the  gods,  and 
had  spoken  irreverently  of  the  emperor  and  his  religion. 
The  proconsul  asked  him  if  the  religion  which  the  emperor 
had  established  was  not  the  truth?  The  martyr  an- 
swered :  '  Can  you  yourself  believe  it  ?  Can  any  man 
endued  with  reason  persuade  himself  that  dumb  statues 
are  gods  ?'  The  proconsul  commanded  him  to  be  tortured 
on  the  rack,  and  scoffing,  said  to  him,  under  his  torments  : 
'  Do  not  you  believe  the  power  of  the  emperor  to  be  great, 
who  can  punish  those  who  disobey  him  ?  Experience  is 
an  excellent  master,  and  will  inform  you  better.  Obey 
the  emperor,  worship  the  gods,  and  offer  sacrifice.'  The 
martyr,  who  prayed  during  his  torments,  with  great 
earnestness,  replied:  'It  is  what  I  never  will  do.'  The 
proconsul  remanded  him  to  prison,  and  informed  his 
master   Julian   of  what   he   had    done.       The   emperor 


48  BAS. 

approved  of  his  proceedings,  and  dispatched  Elpidius  and 
Pegasus,  two  apostate  courtiers,  in  quality  of  commissa- 
ries, to  assist  the  proconsul  in  the  trial  of  the  prisoner. 
They  took  with  them  from  Nicomedia  one  Asclepius,  a 
wicked  priest  of  Esculapius,  and  arrived  at  Ancyra. 
Basil  did  riot  cease  to  praise  and  glorify  God  in  his 
dungeon,  and  Pegasus  repaired  thither  to  him,  in  hopes 
by  promises  arjd  intreaties,  to  work  him  into  compliance  : 
but  he  came  back  to  the  proconsul  highly  offended  at  the 
liberty  with  which  the  martyr  had  reproached  him  with 
his  apostacy.  At  the  request  of  the  commissaries,  the 
proconsul  ordered  him  to  be  again  brought  before  them, 
and  tormented  on  the  rack  with  greater  cruelty  than 
before ;  and  afterwards  to  be  loaded  with  the  heaviest 
irons,  and  lodged  in  the  deepest  dungeon. 

When  Julian  arrived  at  Ancyra,  he  put  Basil  to  death, 
under  circumstances  of  peculiar  horror,  commanding  his 
skin  to  be  torn  off  in  several  places.  This  happened  in 
362.  Alban  Butler  concludes  his  notice  of  this  saint  with 
the  following  observations : 

"  The  love  of  God,  which  triumphed  in  the  breasts  of 
the  martyrs,  made  them  regard  as  nothing  whatever 
labours,  losses,  or  torments,  they  suffered  for  its  sake, 
according  to  that  of  the  canticles  :  If  a  man  shall  have 
given  all  that  he  piossesses,  he  will  despise  it  as  nothing.  If 
the  sacrifice  of  worldly  honours,  goods,  friends,  and  life, 
be  required  of  such  a  one,  he  makes  it  with  joy,  saying 
with  the  royal  prophet,  What  have  I  desired  in  heaven,  or 
on  earth,  besides  Thee,  0  God !  Thou  art  my  portion  for 
ever.  If  he  lives  deprived  of  consolation,  and  joy,  in 
interior  desolation  and  spiritual  dryness,  he  is  content  to 
bear  his  cross,  provided  he  be  united  to  his  God  by  love, 
and  says,  my  God  and  my  all,  if  I  possess  You,  I  have  all 
things  in  You  alone  :  whatever  happens  to  me,  with  the 
treasure  of  Your  love  I  am  rich  and  sovereignly  happy. 
This  he  repeats  in  poverty,  disgraces,  afflictions,  and 
persecutions.  He  rejoices  in  them,  as  by  them  he  is 
more  closely  united  to  his  God,  gives  the  strongest  proof 


BAS.  40 

of  His  fidelity  to  him,  and  perfect  submission  to  His  divine 
appointments,  and  adores  the  accomplishment  of  His  will. 
If  it  be  the  property  of  true  love,  to  receive  crosses  with 
content  and  joy,  to  sustain  great  labours,  and  think  them 
small,  or  rather  not  to  think  of  them  at  all,  as  they  bear 
no  proportion  to  the  prize,  to  what  we  owe  to  God,  or  to 
what  His  love  deserves :  to  suffer  much,  and  think  all 
nothing,  and  the  longest  and  severest  trials  short :  is  it 
not  a  mark  of  a  want  of  this  love,  to  complain  of  prayer, 
fasts,  and  every  Christian  duty  ?  How  far  is  this  dis- 
position from  the  fervour  and  resolution  of  all  the  saints, 
and  from  the  heroic  courage  of  the  martyrs  ?" — Allan 
Butler. 

Basil,  archbishop  of  Seleucia,  a  city  of  Isauria,  flou- 
rished in  the  time  of  the  Eutychian  controversy,  or  the 
middle  of  the  fifth  century.  He  was  present  at  the 
council  of  Constantinople  in  448,  and  then  he  joined  in 
the  condemnation  of  Eutyches  and  his  heresy.  But  in 
the  council  of  Ephesus,  under  Dioscorus,  in  449,  he 
joined  in  the  condemnation  of  Flavian  and  of  the  Catholic 
faith.  He  returned  to  orthodoxy,  and  apologized  for 
his  conduct  at  the  council  of  Chalcedon,  in  451.  From 
this  it  would  appear  that  he  was  not  a  man  of  very 
fixed  principles.  His  works  are  numerous,  and  still 
extant.  An  account  of  them  is  given  by  Dupin,  but 
they  do  not  appear  to  be  of  much  importance.  Photinus 
speaks  of  him  as  an  imitator  of  St  Chrysostom,  but  Dupin 
remarks  that  the  homilies  of  the  celebrated  patriarch  of 
Constantinople  consist  of  two  parts  ;  in  the  first  he  ex- 
plains Scripture  according  to  the  letter,  and  joins  to  it 
some  moral  reflections ;  in  the  second,  St  Chrysostom 
takes  in  hand  some  moral  doctrine,  which  he  treats  of  at 
considerable  length.  Basil  of  Seleucia  meddles  not  with 
the  last  part,  but  contents  himself  with  imitating  the  first. 
— Dupin.     Tillemont.     Cave. 

vol.  u.  b 


50  BAS. 

Basilides.  A  gnostic,  whose  native  land  was  Syria,  or 
a  province  more  to  the  east ;  according  to  Tillemont  he 
left  the  Church  in  the  time  of  Trajan,  and  appeared 
chiefly  in  the  time  of  Adrian.  Basnage  represents  him 
as  flourishing  in  the  year  121;  Mill,  in  the  year  123; 
Cave,  in  112,  or  soon  after.  He  certainly  lived  near  the 
time  of  the  Apostles,  and  we  are  told  by  Clement,  of 
Alexandria,  that  Basilides,  or  his  followers,  boasted  that 
he  had  been  taught  by  Glaucias,  a  disciple  of  St  Peter. 
Theodoret  says  that  Menander  was  his  master. 

The  following  is  the  account  of  his  heresy  given  by 
St  Irenseus  : 

"Basilides  taught  that  from  the  self-existent  Father  was 
born  Nous  or  Understanding  ;  of  Nous,  Logos ;  of  Logos, 
Phronesis,  Prudence  or  Providence  ;  of  Phronesis,  Sophia 
and  Dunamis,  Wisdom  and  Power ;  of  Dunamis  and 
Sophia,  Powers,  Principalities,  and  Angels,  whom  they 
call  the  superior  angels,  by  whom  the  first  heaven  was 
made ;  from  these  proceeded  other  angels  and  other 
heavens,  to  the  number  of  365,  both  angels  and  heavens  : 
and  therefore  there  are  so  many  days  in  the  year  answer- 
able to  the  number  of  the  heavens.  Farther  they  say 
that  the  angels  which  uphold  the  lower  heaven,  seen  by 
us,  made  all  things  in  this  world,  and  then  divided  the 
earth  among  themselves.  And  the  chief  of  these,  they 
say,  is  he  who  is  thought  to  be  the  God  of  the  jews.  And 
because  he  would  bring  other  nations  into  subjection  to 
the  jews,  the  other  princes  opposed  him,  and  other  nations 
opposed  that  people.  But  the  self-existent  and  ineffable 
Father  seeing  them  in  danger  of  being  ruined,  sent  his 
first  begotten  Nous,  who  also  is  said  to  be  Christ,  for  the 
salvation  of  such  as  believe  in  Him,  and  to  deliver  them 
from  the  tyranny  of  the  makers  of  the  world ;  and  that 
He  appeared  on  earth  as  man  and  wrought  miracles  ;  but 
He  did  not  suffer  :  for  Simon  of  Cyrene  being  compelled 
to  bear  the  cross,  was  crucified  for  Him ;  he  was  trans- 
formed into  the  likeness  of  Jesus,   and  Jesus  took  the 


BAS.  51 

shape  of  Simon,  and  stood  by  looking  on,  and  laughing  at 
the  error  and  ignorance  of  those  who  thought  they  had 
Him  in  their  power ;  after  which  He  ascended  to  heaven. 
They  who  understand  these  things  are  to  be  delivered 
from  the  princes  of  this  world.  They  also  hold  that  men 
ought  not  to  confess  him  who  was  crucified,  but  Him  who 
came  in  the  form  of  man,  and  was  supposed  to  be  cruci- 
fied, and  was  called  Jesus,  and  was  sent  of  the  Father, 
that  by  this  dispensation  He  might  destroy  the  works  of 
the  makers  of  the  world.  He  likewise  taught  that  the 
soul  only  would  be  saved,  for  the  body  is  in  its  own  nature 
corruptible,  and  incapable  of  immortality.  He  moreover 
says  that  the  prophecies  are  from  the  princes,  makers  of 
the  world,  and  that  the  law  was  given  by  the  chief  of 
them  who  brought  the  people  out  of  the  land  of  iEgypt 
They  make  light  of  things  offered  to  idols,  and  partake  of 
them  without  scruple.  And  all  other  actions,  and  all 
kinds  of  lewdness,  are  looked  upon  by  them  as  indifferent. 
They  practice  magic  also,  and  incantations.  They  have 
distributed  the  local  positions  of  the  three  hundred  and 
sixty-five  heavens,  just  as  the  mathematicians  do.  For 
they  have  adopted  their  theorems,  and  introduced  them 
into  their  scheme  ;  the  prince  of  which  they  call  Abraxas, 
that  nime  having  in  it  the  number  three  hundred  and 
sixty-five." 

It  is  probable  that  Basilides  did  not  die  before  the  be- 
ginning of  the  reign  of  Antoninus  Pius. — Irenaus.  Frag- 
ments of  his  writings  occur  in  Clemens  Alexandrinus  and 
Epiphanius.     Lardner. 

Basire,  Isaac  de  Preaumont,  was  born  at  Piouen,  in 
Normandy,  1607.  In  16*23  he  was  sent  to  the  college  at 
Roterdam,  his  parents  being  protestants.  Of  his  early 
years  nothing  is  known;  but  he  came  to  England, 
and,  having  been  received  into  the  Church,  was  ordain- 
ed by  Morton,  bishop  of  Lichfield,  in  the  year  1629, 
and  thenceforward  he  adopted  England  as  his  coun- 
try.    We  find  him  in  1631  filling  the  office  of  chaplain 


b->  BAS. 

to  bishop  Morton,  at  Eccleshall  castle ;  his  letters  of 
naturalization  are  dated  the  year  following.  In  1632 
Morton  was  translated  to  Durham,  and  there,  as  well  as 
at  Aukland,  he  had  the  honour  to  entertain  king  Charles 
the  martyr ;  and  there,  too,  Basire  first  learned  to  feel  a 
personal  regard,  in  addition  to  his  loyal  feelings,  for  that 
prince.  Basire  was  at  this  time  a  hard  student,  as  in 
writing  to  Vossius  he  tells  him  that  he  is  studying  the 
Greek  fathers,  "  whose  writings  he  holds  as  only  inferior 
in  authority  to  the  holy  scriptures."  In  1635  he  was 
married  to  Miss  Corbet,  a  lady  of  good  family  in  Shrop- 
shire. His  letters  to  this  lady,  and  to  other  persons  at 
this  period  of  his  life,  shew  the  deep  abiding  piety  of  his 
heart.  The  reader  of  the  correspondence  is  struck  par- 
ticularly with  the  real  comfort  which  Basire  and  his 
friends  derived  from  their  faith  in  the  efficacy  of  inter- 
cessory prayer.  He  was  frequently  applied  to  by  his 
friends  to  assist  them  in  their  charitable  designs,  and  was 
never  appealed  to  in  vain.  One  letter,  from  Nathaniel 
Ward,  vicar  of  Staindross,  who  afterwards  died  fighting 
for  his  king  and  country  against  the  rebels,  is  interesting, 
as  giving  a  picture  of  the  times. 

"  A  report  has  probably  reached  you  of  the  fire,  which 
broke  out  in  my  parish  last  Friday,  about  three  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  and  in  a  very  short  space  of  time  completely 
destroyed  the  cottages  of  three  families,  and  reduced  to 
ashes  fourteen  large  stacks  of  corn.  Two  of  the  persons 
who  have  suffered  this  heavy  loss  are  papists,  plunged  in 
the  deepest  mire  of  superstition,  whom  I  have  often  tried 
in  vain  to  recal  to  more  just  views  of  religion :  but 
enough  remains  for  them  to  live  comfortably.  The  third, 
who  is  much  poorer  than  the  others,  is  an  honest  pious 
man,  who  about  eight  weeks  since  deserted  the  camp  of 
the  papists,  and  took  refuge  in  our  Catholic  Church.  He 
has  two  infant  sons,  and  an  excellent  wife,  who,  when  a 
servant,  could  never  be  induced  to  swerve  from  the  true 
faith  by  the  threats  of  her  masters,  and  since  she  was 
married  has  in  like  manner  resisted  the  attempts  of  her 


BAS.  58 

husband  to  convert  her.  She  expects  her  confinement 
soon  after  Christmas  ;  but  her  clothes,  beds,  and  bedding, 
all  her  furniture,  and  every  thing  she  had  prepared  for 
her  lying-in,  have  been  consumed  by  the  fire ;  so  that  I 
have  been  obliged  to  take  the  man  and  his  family  into 
my  own  house,  till  God  above  shall  look  down  in  mercy, 
and  raise  up  friends  to  relieve  him  in  his  extreme  want 
and  misery.  The  man's  name  is  Francis  Laifield.  I 
begged  a  little  charity  for  him  yesterday ;  and  yet,  though 
my  flock  have  given  proof  of  the  most  benevolent  feelings, 
I  could  not  collect  enough  to  procure  necessaries  for  this 
poor  fellow  and  his  pregnant  wife.  If  therefore  you  have 
no  objection,  I  wish  you  would  lay  their  wants  next 
Sunday  before  your  congregation,  and  extort  alms  from 
them  in  the  name  of  Christ.  For  the  man  is  now 
deserted  by  the  papists,  because  he  has  come  back  to  us — 
otherwise,  they  give  out  that  they  would  have  made  up 
his  losses  with  interest.  I  hope,  nay  I  almost  feel,  that 
God  will  graciously  give  this  man  such  favour  in  the  eyes 
of  other  people,  that  he  will  not  stand  in  need  of  assist- 
ance from  the  papists,  nor  ever  have  reason  to  regret  that 
he  has  bid  adieu  to  Egypt,  and  sheltered  himself  in  our 
holy  land.  If  you  collect  any  thing  for  him,  you  may 
send  it  by  the  steward,  or  by  your  servant,  to  Anthony 
Miller ;  and  I  shall  employ  some  faithful  messenger  to 
demand  your  benevolence  of  him,  at  the  first  opportunity 
which  offers.  I  shall  feel  extremely  obliged  to  you  if  you 
will  comply  with  my  request,  and  be  assured  that  I  shall 
endeavour,  as  far  as  in  my  power,  to  return  your  kindness. 
Farewell,  and  pray  for  me.  Be  so  good  as  to  write,  and 
let  me  know  whether  your  wife  has  yet  been  confined. 
God  preserve  her  from  all  danger  under  the  shadow  of 
His  wings." 

In   1636    the  degree  of  BD.   was  conferred  upon  him 

by  the  university  of  Cambridge,  in  compliance  with  the 

king's  mandate,   and  in  the  course  of  the  same  year  he 

was  presented  by  the  bishop  of  Durham  to  the  living  of 

e  2 


54  BAS. 

Egglescliffe,  in  that  county.  In  1640  lie  took  his  degree 
of  DD.,  and  in  1641  he  was  sworn  chaplain  extraordinary 
to  Charles  I.  and  was  thus  led  to  an  occasional  attendance 
at  the  court  at  Whitehall,  at  a  time  when  the  king  needed 
to  he  surrounded  by  loyal  subjects ;  for  the  presbyterian 
leaven  was  spreading  destructively  through  England,  and 
the  London  petition  had  been  presented,  calling  for  a 
total  change  of  religion,  and  overthrow  of  the  Church, 
signed  by  16,000  persons. 

On  the  12th  of  December,  1643,  Dr  Basire  was  col- 
lated to  the  7th  stall  in  Durham,  by  his  patron  bishop 
Morton,  and  in  the  August  following  he  was  appointed 
archdeacon  of  Northumberland.  These  appointments, 
as  Mr  Darnell  observes,  however  complimentary  to  Basire, 
were  merely  nominal,  the  progress  of  the  civil  war 
having  placed  the  duties  and  the  emoluments  of  such 
offices  alike  in  abeyance.  Two  years  after,  he  is  under- 
stood to  have  been  besieged  eleven  months  in  Carlisle. 
Hutchinson  states  that  the  city  underwent  a  close 
blockade,  and  that  the  inhabitants  suffered  much  for 
want  of  food.  Horses,  dogs,  and  rats,  were  eaten ;  and 
hempseed  substituted  for  bread  as  long  as  the  siege 
lasted. 

In  1645  Basire  was  nominated  to  the  living  of  Stan- 
hope ;  and  in  June,  1646,  he  was  summoned  by  the  earl 
of  Dorset  to  be  in  waiting  upon  the  king  :  but  the  king 
had  been  bought  and  sold  before  Basire  could  attempt  to 
obey ;  and  -Basire  himself  having  been  imprisoned  in 
Stockton  castle,  in  16i7,  made  his  escape  and  took  refuge 
in  France. 

A  total  want  of  the  means  of  subsistence  for  himself 
and  his  family  seems  to  have  driven  him  abroad.  Mrs 
Basire  was  left  at  Egglescliffe  with  four  children,  and 
pregnant  with  another,  to  struggle,  as  well  as  she  could, 
for  the  allowance  promised  by  the  parliament  to  the  wives 
and  families  of  delinquent  clergymen.  This  pittance 
went  by  the  name  of  fifths,  and  was  supposed  to  be  the 


BAS.  55 

fifth  part  of  their  estates  and  goods  seized  upon  by 
parliament ;  and  by  the  help  of  the  "  committee  of  seques- 
tration,-' and  the  "committee  of  plundered  ministers," 
appropriated  to  this  purpose.  We  learn,  however,  from 
contemporary  writers  that  this  was  quite  an  imaginary 
apportionment,  "  so  that  as  one  truly  and  sadly  said  the 
fifths  were  even  paid  at  sixes  and  sevens," — "  which, 
however,  is  true  only  in  the  proverbial,  and  not  in  the 
literal  sense,  (as  bad  as  that  would  have  been)  for  I  shall 
by  and  by  shew,  that  in  those  few  instances  that  I  find 
them  paid,  it  was  for  the  most  part  after  the  rate  of  tens 
and  twelves."  "  And  truly,"  says  another  writer,  "  their 
ordinance  for  the  fifth  part,  doth  generally  prove  a  mere 
mockery  to  the  wives  and  children  of  the  clergy  in  the 
midst  of  their  heavy  persecution,  and  a  snare  to  draw 
them  into  expense  of  their  last  groat,  in  hopes  to  get  their 
so  fairly  promised  morsel ;  which,  as  I  have  known  very 
few  obtain  it  effectually,  so  have  many  of  them  after  some 
years  of  chargeable  and  vexatious  attendance  been  wearied 
out,  buying  at  too  dear  a  rate  their  repentance  of  believing 
or  hoping  any  justice  or  mercy  from  the  puritan  faction." 
x^nthony  Wood  expressly  tells  us  that  "  no  presbyterian 
or  independent  was  ever  known  to  allow  any  loyalist, 
whose  places  they  had  occupied  for  several  years,  the 
least  farthing;  but  rather  rejected  and  avoided  them, 
vilified,  scorned,  and  exposed  them  to  the  plebeians,  as 
empty,  formal,  and  starched  nothings."  The  subterfuges 
employed  by  the  commissioners  to  evade  the  payment  of 
the  fifths  committed  to  their  charge,  are  detailed  at  length 
by  Fuller  in  his  ecclesiastical  history. 

It  was  from  Egglescliffe  alone  that  Mrs  Basire  had 
any  chance  of  obtaining  a  maintenance.  The  college  of 
Durham  had  ceased  to  exist,  and  an  intra der  had  estab- 
lished himself  at  Stanhope. 

From  this  time,  separated  from  his  family,  and,  in  the 
quaint  language  of  Walker,  "  sequestered,  pursevanted, 
plundered,  and  forced  to  fly,"  having  been  thrice  shut  up 
in  the  seiges  of  Carlisle  and  Oxford,  and  in  a  confinement 


56  BAS. 

in  Stockton  castle,  he  was  a  wanderer  on  the  face  of  the 
earth.  Going  first  to  his  paternal  estate  at  Rouen,  he 
travelled  thence  with  a  few  pupils,  first  into  Italy,  and  so 
on  into  the  east.  His  correspondence,  published  by  the 
Rev  Mr  Darnell,  the  present  worthy  rector  of  Stanhope,  is 
deeply  interesting,  and  the  letters  from  his  wife,  though 
the  orthography  is  most  extraordiuary,  are  valuable  as 
shewing  the  difficulties  with  which  religious  and  loyal 
persons  had  to  contend  during  the  rebellion.  It  would  not 
accord  with  the  design  of  this  publication  to  follow  Dr 
Basire  in  his  travels,  but  the  following  letter  to  "  sir 
Richard  Brown,  resident  at  Paris,  for  his  majesty  of  Great 
Britain,"  will  make  manifest  the  right  feelings  which 
attended  him  wherever  he  went. 

"  Sie,  I  have  according  to  my  duty  acquainted  you, 
from  time  to  time,  with  the  several  passages  of  my  now 
seven  years  voyage.  In  my  last  from  Aleppo  (as  yet 
unanswered)  I  gave  you  an  account  of  my  stay  in  Zantes, 
and  of  my  success  there,  in  spreading  amongst  the  Greeks 
the  Catholic  doctrine  of  our  Church,  the  sum  whereof  I 
imparted  to  sundry  of  them  in  a  vulgar  Greek  translation 
of  our  Church  Catechism,  the  product  whereof  was  so 
notable  that  it  drew  envy,  and  consequently  persecution 
upon  me  from  the  Latins.  This  occasioned  my  volun- 
tary recess  into  the  Morea,  where  the  metropolitan  of 
Achaia  prevailed  with  me  to  preach  twice  in  Greek  at 
a  meeting  of  some  of  his  bishops  and  clergy,  and  it  was 
well  taken.  At  parting  I  left  with  him  the  like  copy 
"  ut  supra."  From  thence,  after  I  had  passed  through 
Apulia,  Naples,  and  Sicily  again  (in  which  last  at 
Messina  in  Dr  Duncom's  absence  I  did  for  some  weeks 
officiate  aboard  a  ship)  I  embarked  for  Syria,  where, 
after  some  months  stay  in  Aleppo,  where  I  had  fre- 
quent conversation  with  the  patriarch  of  Antioch,  then 
resident  there,  I  left  a  copy  of  our  catechism  translated 
into  Arabic,  the  native  language  there.  From  Aleppo, 
I  went   this   last   year   to  Jerusalem,    and   so   travelled 


BA>.  5? 

over  all  Palestina.  At  Jerusalem  I  received  much  honour, 
both  from  the  Greeks  and  Latins.  The  Greek  patriarch 
(the  better  to  express  his  desire  of  communion  with  our 
old  church  of  England  by  me  declared  unto  himj  gave 
me  this  bull  or  patriarchal  seal  in  a  blank  (which  is 
their  way  of  credence)  besides  many  other  respects.  As 
for  the  Latins,  they  received  me  most  courteously  into 
their  own  convent,  though  I  did  openly  profess  myself 
a  priest  of  the  church  of  England.  After  some  velita- 
tions  about  the  validity  of  our  ordination,  they  procured 
me  entrance  into  the  temple  of  the  sepulchre,  at  the 
rate  of  a  priest,  that  is  half  in  half  less  than  the  lay- 
men's rate ;  and  at  my  departure  from  Jerusalem  the 
pope's  ovni  vicar  (called  Commissarius  Apostolicus  Gene- 
ralis)  gave  me  his  diploma  in  parchment  under  his  own 
hand  and  public  seal,  in  it  stiling  me  Sacerdotem 
Ecclesiae  Angiicanae  and  S.  S.  Theologiae  Doctorem ;  at 
which  title  many  marvelled,  especially  the  French  am- 
bassador here.  Returning  to  Aleppo,  I  passed  over 
Euphrates  and  went  into  Mesopotamia,  (Abraham's 
country)  whither  I  am  now  intending  to  send  our 
catechism  in  Turkish  to  some  of  their  bishops,  Arme- 
nians most  of  them.  This  Turkish  translation  is  pro- 
cured by  the  good  care  of  sir  Thomas  Bendyshe,  ambas- 
dour  here.  After  my  return  from  Mesopotamia,  I 
wintered  at  Aleppo,  where  I  may  not  pass  under 
silence  sundry  courtesies  I  have  received  from  the  civil 
consul,  Mr  Henry  Riley.  This  last  spring  I  departed 
from  Aleppo,  and  came  hither  by  land  (six  hundred 
miles  all  alone,  I  mean  without  either  servant,  or  Chris- 
tian, or  any  man  with  me  that  could  so  much  as  speak 
the  Frank  language.  Yet  by  the  help  of  some  Arabic 
I  had  picked  up  at  Aleppo,  I  did  perform  this  journey  in 
the  company  of  twenty  Turks,  who  used  me  courteously, 
the  rather  because  I  was  their  physician,  and  of  their 
friends  by  the  way  (a  study  whereunto  the  iniquity  of 
the  times,  and  the  opportunity  of  Padua,  did  drive  me) 
so  by  the   good  hand  of    God  upon  me  I  arrived   safe 


53  BAS 

hither,  where  I  wish  the  temper  of  our  age  would  per- 
mit me  to  express  my  welcome  many  ways,  into  the 
house  of  the  lord  ambassador,  sir  Thomas  Bendyshe. 
Since  my  arrival  hither,  the  French  Protestants  here 
have  taken  hold  of  me  ;  and  after  I  had  declared  unto 
them  my  resolution  to  officiate  according  to  our  liturgy, 
(the  translation  whereof,  for  want  of  a  printed  copy,  cost 
me  no  little  labour,)  they  have  as  yet  hitherto  orderly 
submitted  to  it,  and  j)romised  to  settle  me,  in  three 
salvable  men's  hands,  a  competent  stipend  :  and  all  this 
as  they  tell  me,  with  the  express  consent  of  the  French 
ambassador,  but  still  under  the  roof  and  protection 
(eatenus)  of  the  English  ambassador.  How  long  this 
liberty  may  last  I  know  not,  because  they  are  all  of 
them  bred  after  the  Geneva  discipline,  and  consequently 
not  like  to  persevere,  or  to  be  suffered  to  go  on  in  our 
way;  out  of  which,  God  willing,  I  am  resolved  not  to 
depart,  though  for  it  I  lose  this,  as  I  have  lost  all. 
Meanwhile,  as  I  have  not  been  unmindful  of  our  church, 
with  the  true  patriarch  here,  whose  usurper  now  for  a 
while  doth  interpose,  so  will  I  not  be  wanting  to  em- 
brace all  opportunities  of  propagating  the  doctrine  and 
repute  thereof,  stylo  veteri ;  especially  if  I  should  about 
it  receive  any  commands  or  instructions  from  the  king, 
(whom  God  save)  only  in  ordine  ad  Ecclesiastica  do  I 
speak  this ;  as  for  instance,  proposal  of  communion 
with  the  Greek  church  (salva  conscientia  et  honore)  a 
church  very  considerable  in  all  those  parts.  And  to  such 
a  communion,  together  with  a  convenient  reformation  of 
some  grosser  errors,  it  hath  been  my  constant  design  to 
dispose  and  incline  them.  Haply,  some  months  hence, 
before  I  leave  these  parts,  I  shall  pass  into  Egypt,  that 
I  may  take  a  survey  of  the  churches  of  the  Cophtics,  and 
confer  with  the  patriarch  of  Alexandria,  as  I  have  done 
already  with  the  other  three  patriarchs,  partly  to  acquire 
the  knowledge  of  those  churches,  and  partly  to  publish 
ours  "  quantum  fert  status."  All  along  as  I  have  gone, 
I  have  collated  the   several  confessions  of   faith  of  the 


BAS  59 

several  sorts  of  Christians,  Greeks,  Armenians,  Jacobites, 
Maronites,  &c,  which  confessions  I  have  with  me  in  their 
own  languages.  I  should  now  long  for  a  comfortable 
postliminium  to  my  family,  but  yet  I  am  resolved  rather 
intermori  in  these  toilsome  ecclesiastical  peregrinations, 
than  to  decline  the  least  on  either  hand  from  my  religion 
or  allegiance.  And  oh  !  that  it  were  with  our  church  as 
whilhome  when  God  Almighty  did  shine  upon  our  ways, 
and  uphold  both  the  staves  thereof,  "  beauty  and  bands  ;" 
but  patience,  "  hoc  erat  in  votis ; "  and  to  recover  both 
shall  be  the  prayer  and  endeavour  of, 

"  Sir,  your  &c.'" 
"  Pera,  near  Constantinople, 
20  Julii,  1653."' 


The  friendly  intercourse  of  an  English  priest  with  the 
churches  of  the  east  is  always  a  subject  of  deep  interest ; 
divided  as  the  western  church  is  and  is  likely  to  remain. 
While  he  was  at  Constantinople,  in  1654,  he  received  an 
invitation  from  George  Eacoczi,  prince  of  Transylvania,  to 
settle  in  that  country,  and  he  was  made  by  the  prince 
divinity  professor  in  his  newly  founded  university  of  Alba 
Julia,  or  Weissenburg.  There  he  remained,  endeavouring 
to  bring  about  a  reformation  in  religion  on  the  principles 
of  the  English  church,  till  the  restoration  of  king  Charles 
the  second. 

He  returned  to  England  in  1661  :  Evelyn  in  his  diary 
thus  alludes  to  him  : 

"10  July,  1661.  In  the  afternoon  preached  at  the 
abbey  Dv  Basire,  that  great  traveller,  or  rather  French 
apostle,  who  had  been  planting  the  church  of  England  in 
divers  parts  of  the  Levant  and  Asia.  He  shewed  that  the 
church  of  England  was  for  purity  of  doctrine,  substance, 
decency  and  beauty,  the  most  perfect  under  heaven  ;  that 
England  was  the  very  land  of  Goshen. 

"  Oct.  29,  1662.  I  went  to  court  this  evening,  and  had 
much  discourse  with  Dr  Basire,  one  of  his  majesty's 
chaplains,   who  shewed  me  the   syngraphs    and  original 


60  BAS. 

subscriptions  of  divers  Eastern  patriarchs  and  Asian 
churches  to  our  confession." 

He  was  restored  to  his  preferments,  though  there  was 
some  difficulty  at  first  to  persuade  the  intruder  at 
Stanhope,  "  Anthony  Lamant,  a  Scottish  man,"  to  resign 
the  living  to  its  right  owner,  and  to  accept  another.  The 
joy  of  Dr  Basire  at  being  permitted  to  return  to  his 
family  was  great,  and  he  entered  heartily  and  zealously 
upon  his  pastoral  and  other  duties.  His  sense  of  clerical 
responsibility  is  expressed  in  a  letter  to  his  son  Isaac  : 
"  Preaching  is  a  good  work,  catechizing  is  a  better  work, 
prayer  is  best  of  all."  His  son  Isaac  being  in  London, 
mentions  that  he  had  called  upon  his  father's  old  friend, 
Dr  Busby,  who  in  parting  blessed  him  :  and  the  custom 
both  of  praying  for  one  another,  and  of  asking  for  the 
sacerdotal  blessing,  seems  not  at  that  time  to  have  de- 
parted from  the  English  church,  for  in  another  letter 
Isaac,  in  writing  to  his  father  on  some  business,  states 
that  "my  lord  bishop  of  Carlisle  brought  me  to  the  bishop 
of  Exeter,  who,  upon  my  begging  it,  laid  his  hands  upon 
me  and  blessed  me."  Dr  Basire  died  in  1676:  the 
following  is  an  extract  from  his  last  will  and  testament : 

"  In  the  name  of  God  the  Father,  God  the  Son,  and 
God  the  Holy  Ghost,  three  persons  and  one  God,  blessed 
for  ever,  Amen,  I,  Isaac  Basire,  doctor  in  divinity  and  (un- 
worthy) archdeacon  of  Northumberland,  being  at  present 
in  perfect  understanding  and  memory,  praised  be  God, 
but  having  of  late  years  been  summoned  by  diverse  in- 
firmities, and  put  in  mind  of  my  mortality  and  death,  now 
not  far  of,  do  make  and  ordain  this  my  last  will  and  tes- 
tament in  manner  and  form  following :  that  is  to  say, 
first,  I  do  in  all  humility  resign  my  soul  unto  Almighty 
God,  the  Father  of  spirits,  trusting  wholly  and  only  in  the 
all-sufficient  merit,  mediation,  and  full  satisfaction  of  my 
Lord  and  Saviour,  Jesus  Christ,  who  suffered  death  upon 
the  cross  for  me  and  all  mankind.  And  I  do  declare 
that  as  I  have  lived,  so  I  do  die,  with  comfort,  in  the  holy 
communion  of  the  church  of  England,  both  for  doctrine 


BAS.  61 

and  discipline.  And  I  do  further  protest,  that  having 
taken  a  serious  survey  of  most  Christian  churches,  both 
eastern  and  western,  I  have  not  found  a  parallel  of  the 
church  of  England,  both  for  soundness  of  apostolical  doc- 
trine and  catholic  discipline.  Item.  I  desire  my  executor 
to  dispose  of  my  body  for  decent  and  frugal  burial  in  the 
church- j ard ;  not  out  of  any  singularity,  which  I  always 
declined  when  I  was  living,  but  out  of  veneration  of  the 
house  of  G  od,  though  I  am  not  ignorant  of  the  contrary 
custom :  but  I  do  forbid  a  funeral  sermon,  although  I  know 
the  antiquity  and  utility  of  such  sermons  in  the  primitive 
church  to  encourage  the  Christians  of  those  times  unto 
martyrdom." 

Then  follow  many  charitable  bequests  to  his  several 
parishes,  and  to  the  choir  of  the  cathedral  church  of 
Durham. 

His  works  are,  "  Deo  et  Ecclesiae  Sacrum ;  Sacrilege 
Arraigned  and  Condemned  by  St  Paul,  Romans  ii.  22." 
"Diatriba  de  antiqua  Ecclesiae  Britannicse  libertate."  This 
was  found  in  the  lord  Hopton's  cabinet,  after  his  decease, 
by  Richard  Watson  an  exile  for  his  loyalty,  who  caused  it 
to  be  printed  at  Bruges,  and  translated  it  into  English, 
and  published  it  under  the  title  of  "the  Ancient  liberty 
of  the  Britannic  Church."  "The  history  of  English  and 
Scotch  Presbytery;"  "Oratio  privata  boni  Theologi  (spe- 
ciatim  concionatoris  practici)  partes  praecipuas  complex 
tens;"  "The  dead  man's  real  speech;  being  a  sermon 
on  Heb.  xi.  4,  at  the  funeral  of  Dr  John  Cosin,  late 
bishop  of  Durham,  29th  of  April,  1672  ;  together  with  a 
brief  account  of  the  life,  actions,  and  sufferings  of  the 
said  bishop  :"  from  this  publication  we  extract  the  follow- 
ing passage : 

"  And  now  he  is  dead,  and  who  knows  but  that  God 
took  him  away  from  the  evil  to  come  ?  And  as  great  as 
he  was,  you  may  see  now,  that  a  small  plat  of  ground 
must  contain  and  confine  him.  Sic  transit  gloria  mundi. 
He  can  carry  none  of  all  those  dignities  to  his  grave ;  only 
vol.  n.  f 


69  BAS. 

his  faith  and  good  works  do  attend  him  to  his  grave,  and 
beyond  his  grave,  for  his  works  do  follow  him,  and  that  a? 
high  as  heaven,  where  he  now  rests  from  his  labours;  but 
without  faith  and  good  works,  when  a  man  is  dead,  vanity 
of  vanities,  all  is  vanity." 

••  This  great  man  was  greater  by  his  actions  and  great 
benefactions,  concerning  which,  when  in  the  prosecution 
of  his  great  building's,  he  was  interpelled  by  some  with 
the  mention  of  his  children,  his  usual  answer  was,  the 
Church  is  my  first  born:  a  noble  speech,  yea  a  divine  sen- 
tence, worthy  of  a  king,  who  may  envy  it  out  of  a  bishop's 
mouth.  He  was  greatest  of  all  by  his  constant  sufferings, 
in  which  sen-e  John  Baptist  is  styled,  ■  Magnus  coram 
Domino;'  not  so  much  for  his  doings,  (though  they  were 
great,)  for  John  *  did  no  miracles/  as  for  his  sufferings; 
in  which  sense  our  late  bishop  was  greatest,  for  he  was  a 
constant  confessor  for  Christ  and  his  true  religion,  and  is 
but  one  degree  removed  from  the  '  noble  army  of  martyrs,' 
into  whose  blessed  society  our  hope  is,  that  he  is  now 
gathered.'' — The  Correspondence  of  Isaac  Basire,  DD.  pub- 
lished by  TV.  X.  Darnell,  BD.  rector  of  Stanhope.  Wood's 
Fasti.    Hutchinson's  Best  of  Durham.    Walker. 

Basnage,  Benjamin,  a  French  protestant,  was  born  in 
1580.  He  succeeded  his  father  as  minister  of  the  church 
of  Carentan.  in  Normandy,  and  assisted  at  the  national 
synod  of  Charenton.  He  was  also  deputy  from  the  French 
protestants  to  James  VI.  of  Scotland.  A  work  by  him, 
entitled  a  treatise  on  the  Church,  has  been  much  esteemed. 
He  died  in  1653. — Moreri. 

Basnage,  Anthony,  eldest  son  of  the  preceding,  was 
born  in  1610.  He  became  minister  of  Bayeux,  and 
at  the  age  of  seventy-five  was  thrown  into  prison  at 
Havre  de  Grace.  On  recovering  his  liberty,  he  retired 
into  Holland,  and  died  at  Zutphen  in  1691.  His  son, 
Samuel  Basnage  de  Flatinanville.  succeeded  him  in  his 
congregation  at  Bayeux,  but  he  was  also  forced  to  leave 


BAS.  63 

France  in  1685,  and  retired  to  Zutphen,  where  he  died  in 
IT 21.  He  wrote  Exercitations  on  Baronius,  which  he 
published  in  1706,  under  the  title  of  Annales  politico- 
ecclesiastici,  3  vols  folio.  Of  this  author  Dowling  re- 
marks :  the  "  Annals  of  Samuel  Basnage,  which  appear- 
ed in  1706,  may  be  described  as  a  work  of  learning.  But 
the  author  avowedly  wrote  with  a  controversial  purpose. 
He  was  devoted  to  the  doctrines  and  discipline  of  the 
reformed  communion;  and  he  had  not  the  genius  and 
originality  which  have  sometimes  enabled  writers  of 
equally  exclusive  principles,  to  exert  an  influence  on  the 
whole  Christian  world." — Moreri.     Doirfing. 

Basnage,  James,  the  celebrated  ecclesiastical  historian, 
was  born  at  Rouen  in  1653.  He  was  educated,  first  at 
Saumur,  and  next  at  Geneva,  after  which  he  became 
Huguenot  minister  at  Rouen,  but  on  the  revocation  of  the 
edict  of  Nantes,  he  retired  to  Rotterdam.  In  1709  he 
was  chosen  one  of  the  pastors  of  the  Walloon  congregation 
at  the  Hague ;  and  he  was  also  employed  in  state  affairs. 
The  French  ambassadors  in  Holland  were  directed  to 
apply  to  him  for  his  counsel,  and  in  return  for  his  ser- 
vices, he  obtained  the  restoration  of  all  his  property  in 
France.  He  died  in  1723.  His  principal  works  are — 
1.  Histoire  de  la  Religion  des  Eglises  Reformees,  of  which 
the  best  edition  is  that  in  2  vols  quarto,  1725.  2.  Histoire 
de  l'Eglise  depuis  Jesus  Christ  jusqua  present,  2  vols 
folio.  3.  Histoire  de  l'Ancien  et  du  Nouveau  Testament, 
folio.  4.  Histoire  des  Juifs,  15  vols  12mo.  This  has 
been  translated  into  English,  in  2  vols  folio.  Dupin  hav- 
ing reprinted  this  work,  and  adapted  it  to  the  doctrines  of 
the  church  of  Rome,  the  author  was  induced  to  publish 
another  volume,  entitled,  L 'Histoire  des  Juifs  reclamee  et 
retablie,  par  son  veritable  auteur,  12mo.  5.  Entretiens 
sur  la  Religion,  2  vols  12mo.  6.  Antiquites  Judaiques, 
2  vols  8vo.  7.  Annales  des  Provinces  Unies,  2  vols  folio. 
8,  Dissertation  Historiques  sur  les  Duels  et  les  Ordres  de 


BAS. 

Chevalerie.     Besides  these  publications,  he  wrote  many 
others  on  polemical  and  practical  divinity. 

The  remarks  of  Mr  Dowling  on  Samuel  Basnage  have 
been  given  above ;  Mr  Dowling's  "  Introduction  to  the 
critical  study  of  Ecclesiastical  history"  is  a  work  of  such 
learning  and  impartiality  that  his  early  death  is  to  be 
deplored  as  a  public  loss.  His  observations  on  James 
Basnage  are  now  presented  to  the  reader. 

"  The  controversial  warfare  which  was  occasioned  by 
the  persecuting  measures  adopted  by  Louis  XIV.  towards 
his  calvinistic  subjects,  was  carried  on  with  more  than 
common  bitterness  and  animosity.  The  protestant  writers 
who  took  part  in  it,  had  most  of  them  suffered  from  the 
tyranny  of  the  oppressor.  They  had  been  the  victims  of 
grievous  injustice ;  and  they  were  not  more  affected  by  a 
sense  of  their  wrongs,  than  they  were  indignant  to  find 
insult  added  to  injury,  in  the  affected  mildness  and  mode- 
ration of  the  writings  in  which  some  of  their  most  unfeel- 
ing and  unrelenting  enemies  appealed  to  the  world.  In- 
fluenced as  they  were  by  the  feelings  natural  to  their 
peculiar  circumstances,  they  were  not  in  a  condition  to 
pursue,  with  success,  the  study  of  church-history.  Irrita- 
tion and  resentment  ill  prepared  them  for  an  employ 
which  may  well  be  called  sacred.  It  would  have  been  but 
pious,  if,  like  the  hero  of  the  iEneid,  they  had  regarded 
themselves  as  polluted,  in  combating  even  for  their 
homes,  and  scrupled  to  handle  a  hallowed  thing  till  they 
were  able  to  think  and  write  with  calmness. 

Me,  bello  e  tanto  digressum  et  caede  recenti, 
Adtrectare  nefas  ;  donee  me  flumine  vivo 
Abluero. 

But  their  very  unfitness  operated  as  a  stimulus  to  their 
activity.  They  were  eager  to  wrest  from  their  antagonists 
every  weapon  which  could  be  used  against  them.  They 
were  more  anxious  to  obtain  a  victory,  than  scrupulous 
about  the  means  by  which  it  might  be  achieved,  or  soli- 
citous about  the  consequences  by  which  it  might  be  fol- 


BAS.  65 

lowed.  And,  accordingly,  we  find  that  in  maintaining 
their  own  views  of  the  subject,  and  impugning  those  of 
their  opponents,  they  did  not  hesitate  to  assail  the  most 
venerable  facts,  nor  to  call  in  question  the  most  sacred 
principles. 

"  The  most  important  work  which  was  produced  under 
the  circumstances  to  which  I  allude,  was  the  "  Histoire 
de  l'Eglise"  of  the  celebrated  Jacques  Basnage.  It  was 
professedly  written  in  reply  to  the  "  Histoire  des  Varia- 
tions des  Eglises  Protestantes"  of  Bossuet.  He  met  the 
argument  of  that  artful  attack  on  protestantism  in  a  way 
little  calculated  to  serve  the  cause  of  Christianity,  and 
followed  his  countryman  Jurieu  in  plying  the  invidious 
task  of  exposing  the  inconsistencies  of  the  ancient  Church. 
Anxious  at  all  hazards  to  gain  an  advantage  over  his 
eloquent  opponent,  he  traces  the  history  of  the  govern- 
ment, the  doctrine  and  worship  of  the  Church,  carefully 
pointing  out  the  variations  which  have  prevailed  in  dif- 
ferent times  and  countries.  His  extensive  learning  and 
great  acuteness  well  fitted  him  for  historical  inquiries, 
and  I  am  not  aware  that  there  is  any  reason  to  suspect  his 
personal  orthodoxy.  But  though  bearing  the  character  of 
a  Christian  minister,  Basnage  was  a  man  of  the  world, 
and  had  evidently  little  feeling  for  the  sacredness  of 
church-history.  His  book  is  not  only  essentially  a  work 
of  controversy,  but  is  withal  disfigured  by  the  pertness 
and  flippancy  not  unfrequent  in  French  writers,  and  an 
unfortunate  tone  of  levity  and  satire.  An  affectation  of 
moderation  ill  conceals  the  partizan  and  the  davocate. 
We  look  in  vain  for  impartiality  in  one  who  displays 
alternately  the  captiousness  of  the  sceptic,  and  the  ob- 
stinacy of  the  bigot.  He  had  no  correct  conception  of  the 
objects  of  church-history,  nor  any  acquaintance  with  the 
true  genius  of  historical  composition ;  yet  his  keen  and 
searching  exposures  of  the  prejudices  of  his  opponents, 
and  his  ingenious  vindication  of  his  own,  entitle  his  work 
to  attention.  It  exercised  a  considerable  influence  on 
f-2 


66  BAX. 

future  inquirers ;  but  it  was  an  influence  which  was  not 
salutary.  Its  effect  was  rather  to  retard  than  accelerate 
the  progress  of  the  science.  He  was  rather  a  man  of  de- 
tail, than  of  elevated  or  comprehensive  views;  and  his 
example  rather  tended  to  perpetuate  the  polemical  man- 
ner which  others,  who  made  less  pretension  to  liberality, 
had  begun  tacitly  to  abandon,  than  to  raise  his  subject  to 
the  dignity  of  genuine  history." — Moreri.     Dowling. 

Baxter,  Richard,  was  born  in  1615,  at  Rowton,  in 
Shropshire.  If  credit  is  to  be  given  to  the  statements 
of  Baxter,  the  reformation  had,  at  this  period,  effected 
no  further  good  in  our  Church,  than  that  of  correct- 
ing our  formularies,  and  of  restoring  them  to  their  pri- 
mitive simplicity.  By  his  account  the  clergy  were 
more  corrupt  after  the  reformation  than  they  had  been 
before  :  he  scarcely  knew  a  clergyman  who  was  not  an 
ignoramus  and  a  drunkard ;  and  as  for  his  tutors,  they 
were  all  guilty  of  that  idleness  of  which  in  our  own  age 
they  are  accustomed  sometimes  to  accuse  their  pupils. 
But  we  must  make  allowance  for  considerable  exaggera- 
tion in  his  statements,  as  they  were  not  made  until  he 
had  become  prejudiced  against  the  Church,  and  his 
prejudices  led  him  unintentionally  to  recur  to  the  past 
with  a  jaundiced  eye.  Besides,  we  must  always  bear  in 
mind  a  peculiarity  of  this  distinguished  man,  who  through 
life  had  a  tendency  to  ^consider  all  men  in  the  wrong, 
more  or  less,  except  himself.  Self-will  was  perhaps  his 
besetting  sin,  and  as  he  formed  no  sect,  so  now  he  has  no 
place,  but  stands  solitary  among  theologians.  If  what  he 
says  of  the  clergy  be  true,  in  that  statement  archbishop 
Laud  may  find  his  justification  for  the  zeal  with  which 
he  attempted  a  reform. 

But  we  must  do  him  the  justice  to  say,  that  if  he  is 
severe  on  the  governors  and  companions  of  his  youth,  he 
does  not  spare  himself,  for  he  confesses  that  he  was 
addicted  to  lying,  theft,  levity,  and  disobedience  to  his 


BAX.  67 

parents  :  the  Holy  Spirit  Who  had  been  given  to  him  in 
his  baptism,  and  Whom  he  thus  grieved,  did  not  leave 
him  without  a  warning,  for  he  admits  that  through  his 
conscience  he  was  often  reproached  for  these  offences, 
though  he  knew  not  then,  and  did  not,  even  in  after  life. 
recognize,  the  sacred  Person  from  whom  the  warning 
came,  and  that  besides  the  iniquity  of  the  conduct,  he 
committed  the  further  offence  of  sinning  away  baptismal 
grace.  He  was  the  more  without  excuse  for  that  he  was 
trained  by  pious  parents,  who  were  "  free  from  all  disaffec- 
tion to  the  then  government  of  the  Church,  and  from  all 
scruples  concerning  its  doctrine,  worship,  or  discipline ; 
they  never  spake  against  bishops,  or  the  prayer  book,  or 
the  ceremonies  of  the  Church  ;  but  they  '  prayed  to  God 
always,'  though  always  by  a  book  or  form,  generally  a 
form  at  the  end  of  the  book  of  common  prayer ;  they  read 
the  Scriptures  in  their  family,  especially  on  the  Lords 
day,  when  others  were  dancing  under  a  may-pole  not  far 
from  their  door,  to  their  great  interruption  and  annoy- 
ance ;  they  reproved  drunkards,  swearers,  and  other  evil 
doers  ;  and  they  were  glad  to  converse  about  the  Scriptures 
and  the  world  to  come ;  for  all  which  they  escaped  not  the 
revilings  of  the  ungodly."  Of  his  father,  he  further  says, 
"  It  pleased  God  to  instruct  him,  and  to  change  him  bv 
the  bare  reading  of  the  Scriptures  in  private ;  and  God 
made  him  the  instrument  of  my  first  convictions  and 
approbation  of  a  holy  life,  as  well  as  my  restraint  from  the 
grosser  sort  of  livers.  When  I  was  very  young,  his  serious 
speeches  of  God,  and  of  the  life  to  come,  possessed  me 
with  a  fear  of  sinniug.  At  first,  he  set  me  to  read  the 
historical  parts  of  Scripture,  which  greatly  delighted  me  ; 
and  though  I  neither  understood  nor  relished  the  doc- 
trinal part,  yet  it  did  me  good  by  acquainting  me  with 
the  matters  of  fact,  and  drawing  me  on  to  love  the  Bible, 
and  to  search,  by  degrees,  into  the  rest."  It  will  be 
observed  here  incidentally,  what  has  been  remarked  in 
the  life  of  Aylmer,  that  the  prohibition  of  sports  on  the 
Lord's  day  was  not  introduced  by  the  reformers,  but  by 


68  BAX. 

the  puritans,  the  Lord's  day  being  a  feast,  and  not  a  fast ; 
when  Baxter  went  to  court,  he  found  that  on  the  Sunday 
evening  it  was  customary  to  have  an  interlude,  on  the 
same  principle  ;  high  and  low,  rich  and  poor,  in  England 
as  on  the  Continent,  were,  at  that  time,  accustomed,  after 
the  sacred  duties  of  the  day  had  comforted  and  refreshed 
their  souls,  to  devote  some  time  to  the  innocent  recreation 
of  the  body.  But  when  we  say  this,  we  must  also  remember 
that  our  own  ancestors  and  religious  persons  on  the  Con- 
tinent, while  they  thus  kept  the  Lords  day,  the  day  of  our 
Lord's  blessed  resurrection,  as  a  happy  festival,  were  accus- 
tomed to  observe  the  Friday,  the  day  of  our  Lord's  cruci- 
fixion, as  a  strict  fast.  Later  in  life  Baxter  seems  to  have 
looked  back  with  greater  horror  at  feeling  tempted  to  join  in 
the  innocent  recreations  of  the  people  on  the  Lord's  day,  no 
law  existing  at  the  time  to  prevent  them,  than  he  did  at 
the  sins  of  which  he  had  been  guilty,  of  lying,  disobedi- 
ence, and  theft.  Such  is  the  tendency  of  sectarianism  to 
corrupt  the  judgment. 

His  early  education  was  imperfectly  conducted.  His 
eulogist  and  biographer,  Mr  Orme,  remarks  :  "  of  Hebrew 
he  scarcely  knew  anything ;  his  acquaintance  with  Greek 
was  not  profound  ;  and  even  in  Latin,  as  his  works  shew, 
he  must  be  regarded  by  a  scholar  as  little  less  than  a 
barbarian.  Of  mathematics  he  knew  nothing,  and  never 
had  a  taste  for  them.  Of  logic  and  metaphysics  he  was  a 
devoted  admirer,  and  to  them  he  dedicated  his  labour  and 
delight."  "  The  schoolmen  were  the  objects  of  his  admira- 
tion ;  Aquinas,  Scotus,  Durandus,  Ockham,  and  their 
disciples,  were  the  teachers  from  whom  he  acquired  no 
small  portion  of  that  acuteness  for  which  he  became  so 
distinguished  as  a  teacher,  and  of  that  logomachy,  by 
which  most  of  his  writings  are  more  or  less  deformed." 

It  is  said  that  he  never  experienced  any  "  real  change 
of  heart,"  until  he  read  "  Bunney's  Resolution,"  a  book 
"written  by  a  Jesuit  of  the  name  of  Parsons,"  and  pub- 
lished, with  corrections,  by  Bunney. 


BAX.  69 

His  health  from  early  life  was  extremely  delicate,  and 
he  was  affected  with  nervous  debility ;  he  is  said  to  have 
been  one  of  the  most  diseased  and  afflicted  men  that  ever 
reached  the  full  ordinary  limits  of  human  life.  And  this 
is  mentioned  by  his  biographers  as  an  excuse  for  "  the 
acerbity  of  his  temper,  his  occasional  fretfulness  and  way- 
wardness, and  his  impatience  of  contradiction." 

In  1638  he  was  made  head-master  of  a  free  school  at 
Dudley,  and  was  ordained  by  the  bishop  of  Worcester. 
He  was  now  rather  more  than  twenty-three  years  of  age, 
and  considered  himself  competent  to  sit  in  judgment  upon 
the  Church.  It  is  interesting  to  know  what  the  young 
deacon's  judgment  was,  and  we  find  he  did  not  consider 
episcopacy  to  be  sinful,  and  he  decided  that  kneeling  at 
the  holy  sacrament  was  lawful:  as  to  the  propriety  of 
wearing  the  surplice  he  doubted ;  on  the  whole  he  was 
inclined  to  submit  to  it,  but  though  he  officiated  in  the 
church  of  England,  he  never  wore  "  that  rag  of  popery" 
in  his  life :  the  ring  in  marriage,  though  a  popish  custom, 
"  he  did  not  scruple  ;"  but  the  cross  in  baptism  he  deemed 
unlawful.  A  form  of  prayer  and  liturgy  he  thought  might 
be  used,  and,  in  some  cases,  might  be  lawfully  imposed  ; 
but  as  to  the  liturgy  of  the  church  of  England,  "he 
thought  it  had  much  confusion,  and  many  defects  in  it." 
Discipline  he  saw  much  to  be  wanted,  but  his  youthful 
judgment  was,  that  the  frame  of  episcopacy,  (a  divine 
institution)  did  not  absolutely  exclude  it;  and  thought 
its  omission  arose  chiefly  from  the  personal  neglect  of 
the  bishops.  Subscription  he  began  to  judge  unlawful, 
and  thought  that  he  had  sinned  by  his  former  rashness  ; 
for  although  he  did  not  yet  disapprove  of  a  liturgy  and 
bishops,  yet  to  subscribe  ex  animo,  that  there  is  nothing 
in  the  liturgy  contrary  to  the  word  of  God,  was  what  he 
could  not  do  again.  The  baptismal  and  ordination 
services,  as  well  as  the  catechism,  are  indeed  so  very 
catholic,  that  one  is  surprised  how  any  one  holding  ultra- 
protestant  views,  can  ever  accept  them.  The  very  "  non- 
natural"  sense  in  which  the  ordination  service  is  explained 


70  BAX. 

by  bishop  Sumner,  and  in  which  the  baptismal  offices  are 
understood  by  many,  may  be  accepted  by  persons  anxious 
to  remain  in  the  establishment,  but  would  not  suffice  for 
the  strong-minded,  self-willed  puritans,  who  sought  for  a 
good  reason  to  ouit  it. 

Baxter  now  began  to  study  the  works  of  the  puri- 
tans, having  first  read,  without  receiving  satisfaction,  the 
writings  of  distinguished  churchmen.  Among  others,  he 
consulted  Hooker,  but  Hooker's  argument  had  no  effect 
upon  young  Baxter.  His  biographer,  Mr  Orme,  gives 
his  own  opinion  of  Hooker,  which  was  probably  that  of 
Baxter.  "  Of  the  man  whom  popes  have  praised,  and 
kings  commended,  and  bishops  without  number  extolled, 
it  may  be  presumptuous  in  me,"  says  Mr  Orme,  "  to  ex- 
press a  qualified  opinion.  But  truth  ought  to  be  spoken. 
The  praise  of  profound  erudition,  laborious  research,  and 
gigantic  powers  of  eloquence,  no  man  will  deny  to  be  due 
to  Hooker.  But  had  his  celebrated  work  been  written  in 
defence  of  the  popish  hierarchy,  and  popish  ceremonies, 
the  greater  part  of  it  would  have  required  little  alteration. 
Hence  we  need  not  wonder  at  the  praise  bestowed  on  it 
by  Clement  VIII.,  or  that  James  II.  should  have  referred 
to  it  as  one  of  two  books  which  promoted  his  conversion  to 
the  church  of  Rome.  His  views  of  the  authority  of  the 
Church,  and  the  insufficiency  of  Scripture,  are  much  more 
popish  than  protestant ;  and  the  greatest  trial  to  which 
the  judiciousness  of  Hooker  could  have  been  subjected, 
would  have  been  to  attempt  a  defence  of  the  reformation 
on  his  own  principles.  His  work  abounds  with  sophisms, 
with  assumptions,  and  with  a  show  of  proof  when  the  true 
state  of  the  case  has  not  been  given,  and  the  strength  of 
the  argument  never  met.  The  quantity  of  learned  and 
ingenious  reasoning  which  it  contains,  and  the  seeming 
candour  and  mildness  which  it  displays,  have  imposed 
upon  many,  and  procured  for  Hooker  the  name  of 
"judicious"  to  which  the  solidity  of  his  reasonings,  and 
the  services  he  has  rendered  to  Christianity,  by  no  means 
entitle  him." 


BAX.  71 

Whether  Mr  Orme  or  Mr  Baxter  was  competent  to  sit 
in  judgment  upon  Hooker,  may  admit  of  a  doubt :  they 
were  evidently  unable  to  distinguish  between  Catholic 
truth  and  Romish  corruptions.  Baxter  had  not  received 
an  academical  education,  and  we  have  the  testimony  of 
his  biographer  given  above,  to  his  qualifications  to  sit  in 
judgment  on  the  profound  labours  of  a  learned  divine. 
But  as  Baxter  had  no  Hebrew,  little  Latin,  and  less 
Greek,  with  no  mathematics,  we  must  be  more  grieved 
than  surprised  that  Baxter  decided  that  Hooker  and  the 
Church  were  wrong,  and  the  puritans  right ;  especially  if 
it  be  true,  as  he  asserts,  that  the  puritans  led  the  better 
life.  He  indeed  blames  them  for  their  "  sourness,"  but 
puritan  "  sourness"  so  nearly  resembles  catholic  asceticism 
in  appearance,  that  it  is  easy  to  account  for  the  fact 
that  they  had  an  influence  over  the  half-educated  mind  of 
an  enthusiastic  young  man  desirous  of  excellence. 

The  dissenters  were  now  in  the  ascendant,  and  had 
begun  to  persecute  the  clergy.  "  They  had  formed,"  says 
Southey,  "  a  committee  for  religion,  which  received,  like 
an  inquisition,  complaints  from  any  person  against 
scandalous  ministers.  To  bow  at  the  name  of  Jesus, 
or  require  communicants  to  receive  the  sacrament  at 
the  altar,  was  cause  enough  for  scandal  now;  and  any  thing 
which  opposed  or  offended  the  ruling  faction,  was  compre- 
hended under  the  general  name  of  malignity,  a  charge  as 
fatal  to  the  fortunes  of  those  against  whom  it  was  brought, 
as  that  of  heresy  would  have  been  to  their  lives  in  a  papist 
country."  To  this  committee  the  town  of  Kidderminstei 
petitioned  against  their  vicar  as  a  scandalous  minister, 
and  Baxter  represents  him  to  have  been  a  drunkard.  If 
it  was  so,  he  deserved  to  be  suspended,  however  incom- 
petent the  tribunal  to  which  the  appeal  was  made.  But 
it  may  be  stated  in  his  favour,  that  when  he  offered  to  his 
parishioners  sixty  pounds  a  year  as  a  salary  for  any 
preacher  a  committee  of  fourteen  should  choose,  and 
promised  to  confine  himself  to  "  the  inferior  duties"  of 
prayer  and  the  routine  of  pastoral  work,  the  offer  was  ac- 


72  BAX. 

cepted  ;  this  proves  either  that  they  did  not  substantiate 
their  charges  against  him,  or  that  they,  like  hypocrites, 
were  willing  to  compound  for  crime.  Baxter  was  the 
man  of  their  choice,  and  he  accepted  the  invitation  because 
"the  congregation  was  large  and  the  church  convenient." 
But  he  was  not  without  difficulties :  at  one  time  "  the 
ignorant  rabble"  raged  against  him  for  preaching,  as  they 
supposed,  that  God  hated  all  infants,  because  he  taught 
the  doctrine  of  original  sin  :  the  very  accusation  which  is 
at  the  present  day  brought  against  those  who,  because  of 
original  sin,  preach  the  necessity  of  infant  regeneration. 
At  another  time  they  actually  sought  his  life,  and  probably 
would  have  taken  it,  had  they  found  him  at  the  moment 
of  their  rage,  because,  by  order  of  the  parliament,  the 
churchwardens  attempted  to  take  down  a  crucifix  which 
the  reformers  had  left  standing  in  the  church  yard.  So 
strong  was  the  excitement  against  Baxter,  that  he  was  not 
long  after  obliged  to  withdraw  from  Kidderminster,  on 
account  of  an  attack  upon  his  life  by  a  mob,  excited  by  a 
parliamentary  order  for  defacing  images  of  the  Holy 
Trinity  in  churches,  and  for  removing  crucifixes;  of  which 
they  considered  Baxter  a  party,  though  the  execution  of 
the  order  had  not  been  attempted.  This  shews  how 
attached  the  people  were  to  their  religion,  and  the  old 
forms  and  ceremonies,  until  by  designing  and  wicked 
persons,  aided  by  such  well-meaning  but  half-informed  men 
as  Baxter,  their  passions  were  inflamed,  and  they  were 
excited  to  rebellion.  What  the  reformers  tolerated,  the 
puritans  destroyed ;  and  the  dissenters  of  the  present  day 
have  inherited  the  spirit,  not  of  the  reformers,  but  of  the 
puritans. 

When  the  rebellion  commenced,  Baxter  acted  character- 
istically :  he  thought  the  parliamentarians  not  quite  in 
the  right,  and  the  king  not  quite  in  the  wrong ;  but  while 
persuaded  that  he  only  could  perceive  the  truth,  he 
became  a  decided  friend  to  the  cause  of  the  rebels,  though 
he  did  not  desire  the  deposition  of  the  king.  Having  left 
Kidderminster,  he  resided  for  a  time  in  the  ancient  city 


BAX.  73 

of  Coventry,  and  there  he  took  the  covenant ;  whereby  he 
was  pledged,  "  without  respect  of  persons,  to  endeavour 
the  extirpation  of  popery,  prelacy,  (that  is,  church  govern- 
ment by  archbishops,  bishops,  their  chancellors  and  com- 
missaries, deans,  deans  and  chapters,  archdeacons,  and 
all  other  ecclesiastical  officers  depending  on  the  hierarchy, ) 
superstition,  heresy,  schism,  profaneness,  and  whatsoever 
shall  be  found  to  be  contrary  to  sound  doctrine  and  the 
power  of  godliness."  "  All  persons,"  says  Southey,  "  above 
the  age  of  eighteen,  were  required  to  take  the  covenant ; 
and  such  ministers  as  refused  were  reported  to  parliament 
as  malignants,  and  proceeded  against  accordingly.  No 
fewer  than  seven  thousand  clergymen  were  on  this  ground 
ejected  from  their  livings,  so  faithful  were  the  great  body 
of  the  clergy  in  the  worst  of  times.  The  extent  of  private 
misery  and  ruin  which  this  occasioned,  aggravated  in  no 
slight  degree  the  calamities  of  civil  war."  Among  these 
seven  thousand  confessors  Baxter  was  not :  by  taking  the 
coveuant  he  escaped  persecution,  but  committed  himself 
as  a  presbyterian  and  a  rebel. 

During  the  progress  of  the  rebellion  he  discovered  that 
many  of  the  rebels  went  further  than  he  did,  and  desired 
"  to  master  and  ruin  the  king  ;"  and  that  there  were  many 
preachers  in  the  rebel  army  who  preached  not  according 
to  what  he  thought  orthodoxy.  He  became  therefore  a 
chaplain  in  the  rebel  army :  and  it  is  strange  to  hear  him 
speaking  with  contempt  of  sectaries,  as  if  he  had  not  become 
one  himself,  and  with  indignation  of  heterodoxy,  as  if, 
holding,  as  he  did,  the  right  of  private  judgment,  he  could 
justly,  or  without  a  most  unchristian  violation  of  charity, 
call  any  one  heterodox,  merely  because  the  opinions  which 
he  deduced  from  Scripture  happened  to  differ  from  those 
of  Baxter.  His  position  in  the  army  was  any  thing  but 
pleasant ;  he  was  an  unwelcome  guest,  and  seemed  more 
surprised  than  hurt  that  Cromwell  did  not  admit  him  into 
his  councils.  His  biographer  tells  us  that  "  nothing  but 
an  extraordinary  taste  for  disputation  could  have  disposed 

VOL.  II.  g 


74  BAX. 

him  to  enter  on,  or  have  enabled  him  to  continue  in,  such 
a  service."  But  we  cannot  help  thinking  that  he  was 
actuated  by  a  yet  higher  motive  :  as  he  had  selected  the 
presbyterian  religion  to  be  his  own,  he  thought  it  the 
true  religion,  and  if  the  true  religion,  the  only  religion ; 
and  when  he  saw  the  progress  of  events  in  the  rebellion 
leading  on  to  the  establishment  of  independency,  he  be- 
came alarmed,  and  in  serving  his  sect,  conscientiously 
believed  that  he  was  serving  God.  He  gives  a  lamentable 
description  of  the  immorality  and  infidelity  even,  which 
prevailed  in  the  puritan  army,  and  speaks  of  the  leading 
ministers  as  "  fierce  with  pride  and  self-conceitedness." 

While  Baxter  lived  in  Coventry  the  Westminster  assem- 
bly had  been  convened  by  order  of  parliament;  it  was 
convoked,  says  Southey  "  to  frame  a  new  model  of  church 
government.  A  few  of  the  loyal  clergy  were  appointed, 
most  of  whom,  in  obedience  to  the  king's  command,  re- 
fused to  appear  upon  an  illegal  summons  :  a  large  propor- 
tion of  seditious  preachers,  who  now  openly  professed 
their  presbyterian  principles  ;  some  honester  men  though 
further  gone  in  the  disease  of  the  age,  who,  having  emi- 
grated to  Holland,  rather  than  submit  to  the  order  of  the 
Church,  returned  now  to  take  advantage  of  its  overthrow, 
and  lastly  certain  members  of  both  houses,  and  some  com- 
missioners from  Scotland."  It  is  somewhat  remarkable 
that  Baxter  was  not  a  member  of  this  notable  assembly, 
and  when  speaking  of  it,  a  feeling  of  disappointment 
escapes  from  him  in  the  expression  that  he  was  "not 
worthy  to  be  one  of  them  himself."  Although  he 
approved  of  the  assembly  in  general,  and  thought  it  the 
most  admirable  assembly  that  had  existed  since  the 
days  of  the  apostles,  except  the  Synod  of  Dort ;  he  criti- 
cises it  with  his  usual  self-sufficiency  :  his  words  are, 
"  Yet,  highly  as  I  honour  the  men,  I  am  not  of  their 
mind  in  every  part  of  the  government  which  they  would 
have  set  up.  Some  words  in  their  catechism,  I  wish  had 
been  more  clear :  and,  above  all,  I  wish  that  the  parlia- 


BAX.  75 

ment,  and  their  more  skilful  hand,  had  done  more  than 
was  done  to  heal  our  breaches,  aDd  had  hit  upon  the  right 
way,  either  to  unite  with  the  episcopalians  and  indepen- 
dents, or,  at  least,  had  pitched  on  the  terms  that  are  fit  for 
universal  concord,  and  left  all  to  come  in  upon  those  terms 
that  would." 

In  1647  Baxter  was  obliged  to  leave  the  rebel  army  by 
a  sudden  illness,  and  he  retired  to  sir  Thomas  Rous's, 
where  he  remained  some  time  in  a  bad  state  of  health. 
In  the  meantime  the  refractory  parishioners  of  Kidder- 
minster had  renewed  their  articles  against  the  vicar,  and 
the  deposing  committee  had  sequestered  the  place.  The 
vicarage  was  now  offered  to  Baxter.  Not  being  iuclined  to 
involve  himself  in  the  difficulties  of  an  office  which  be- 
longed of  right  to  another,  he  insisted  that  the  sequestra- 
tion should  remain  in  the  hands  of  the  townsmen,  and 
that  they  should  make  an  allowance  to  him  out  of  the 
tithes  and  other  proceeds  of  the  living  :  he  would  not  steal 
the  horse,  but  was  willing  to  ride  it  when  others  had  acted 
the  part  of  thief.  The  time  of  Baxter's  residence  at  Kid- 
derminster was  the  happiest  and  most  useful  period  of 
his  life.  His  ideas  with  respect  to  the  management  of  a 
parish  were  excellent ;  he  gave  his  time  and  his  thoughts 
to  his  people ;  he  was  diligent,  generous,  and  humane ; 
and,  according  to  his  own  account,  he  was  so  wonderfully 
successful  that  "  on  the  Lord's  day  there  was  no  disorder 
to  be  seen  in  the  streets  ;  but  you  might  hear  an  hundred 
families  singing  psalms  and  repeating  sermons  as  you 
passed  through  them.  " In  a  word,**  he  says,  "when  I  came 
thither  first,  .there  was  about  one  family  in  a  street  which 
worshipped  God  and  called  upon  His  Name,  and  when  I 
came  away  there  were  some  streets  where  there  was  not 
one  poor  family  on  the  side  that  did  not  so."  This  boast 
could  not  have  been  without  foundation  ;  but  Baxter  was 
an  egotist,  and  had  such  an  overweening  opinion  of  him- 
self, that  what  he  says  must  be  received  with  considerable 
abatement. 

It  is  certain,  however,  that  his  opinions  now  had  under- 


76  BAX. 

gone  a  very  considerable  change  in  things  relating  to  the 
state.  Like  the  other  presbyterians,  and  like  ultra-protes- 
tants  in  general,  he  did  not  regard  rebellion  as  in  itself 
sinful.  He  and  the  presbyterians  were  willing  to  take  up 
arms  against  the  king  in  order  to  compel  him  to  establish 
the  presbyterian  religion,  but  when  they  found  the  rebels 
had  ulterior  objects  in  view,  and  that  toleration  of  all 
sects  and  parties,  and  not  the  establishment  of  presbyteri- 
anism  was  likely  to  be  the  end  of  their  proceedings,  the 
presbyterian  party  became  loyalists,  and  though  they  did 
not,  and  indeed  could  not,  prevent  the  murder  of  the  king, 
they  censured  that  act  of  atrocity,  and  while  submitting 
to  Cromwell,  were  prepared  to  assist  in  the  restoration  of 
Charles  II. 

Although  Baxter  had  taken  the  covenant  at  Coventry, 
when  he  supposed  the  object  of  the  rebellion  was  to  estab- 
lish presbyterianism,  he  now  opposed  both  that  and  the 
engagement :  to  the  latter  he  was  as  a  matter  of  course 
opposed  ;  the  imposition  of  the  former  he  thought  inexpe- 
dient, as  it  might  hamper  men  in  coming  to  terms  should 
an  opportunity  of  restoring  the  king  occur.  In  all  these 
proceedings  we  must  remark  that  Baxter  was  suffering 
under  severe  disappointment,  Cromwell  and  his  officers 
having  treated  him  when  with  the  army  with  as  much  con- 
tempt as  they  dared.  We  find  him  again  connected  with 
the  army,  but  giving  the  soldiers  and  general  now  very 
sound  advice.  In  narrating  the  course  he  adopted  to- 
wards them  he  shews  up  the  hypocrisy  of  the  puritan 
rebels,  and  certainly  no*one  knew  them  better  than  he  did  : 

"When  the  soldiers  were  going  against  the- king  and  the 
Scots,  I  wrote  letters  to  some  of  them,  to  tell  them  of  their 
sin ;  and  desired  them  at  last  to  begin  to  know  them- 
selves. They  were  the  same  men  who  had  boasted  so  much 
of  love  to  all  the  godly,  and  pleaded  for  tender  dealing 
with  them,  and  condemned  those  that  persecuted  them  or 
restrained  their  liberty,  who  were  now  ready  to  imbrue 
their  swords  in  the  blood  of  such  as  they  acknowledged  to 
be  godly ;  and  all  because  they  dared  not  be  as  perjured 


BAX.  7i 

or  disloyal  as  they  were.  Some  of  them  were  startled  at 
these  letters,  and  thought  me  an  uncharitable  censurer, 
who  would  say  that  they  could  kill  the  godly,  even  when 
they  were  on  the  march  to  do  it :  for  how  bad  soever  they 
spake  of  the  cavaliers  (and  not  without  too  much  desert  as 
to  their  morals),  they  confessed,  that  abundance  of  the 
Scots  were  godly  men.  Afterwards,  however,  those  that  I 
wrote  to  better  understood  me. 

"  At  the  same  time,  the  Rump,  or  Commonwealth, 
which  so  much  abhorred  persecution,  and  were  for  liberty 
of  conscience,  made  an  order  that  all  ministers  should 
keep  certain  days  of  humiliation,  to  fast  and  pray  for  their 
success  in  Scotland  :  and  that  we  should  keep  days  of 
thanksgiving  for  their  victories ;  and  this  upon  pain  of 
sequestration  !  So  that  we  all  expected  to  be  turned  out ; 
but  they  did  not  execute  it  upon  any,  save  one,  in  our 
parts.  For  myself,  instead  of  praying  and  preaching  for 
them,  when  any  of  the  committee  or  soldiers  were  my 
hearers,  I  laboured  to  help  them  to  understand,  what  a 
crime  it  was  to  force  men  to  pray  for  the  success  of  those 
who  were  violating  their  covenant  and  loyalty,  and  going, 
in  such  a  cause,  to  "kill  their  brethren : — what  it  was  to 
force  men  to  give  God  thanks  for  all  their  bloodshed,  and 
to  make  Gods  ministers  and  ordinances  vile,  and  service- 
able to  such  crimes,  by  forcing  men  to  run  to  God  on  such 
errands  of  blood  and  ruin : — and  what  it  is  to  be  such 
hypocrites  as  to  persecute  and  cast  out  those  that  preach 
the  gospel,  while  they  pretend  the  advancement  of  the 
gospel,  and  the  liberty  of  tender  consciences,  and  leave 
neither  tenderness  nor  honesty  in  the  world,  when  the 
guides  of  the  flocks  and  preachers  of  the  gospel  shall  be 
forced  to  swallow  down  such  heinous  sins." 

At  the  restoration  Baxter  was  regarded  as  one  of  the 
leaders  of  the  puritans,  with  whom  the  loyalists  might 
communicate ;  but  the  inconsistency  of  his  principles  is 
well  expressed  by  his  eulogist  Mr  Orme,  who  can  scarcely 
forgive  him  for  his  loyalty,  such  as  it  was  :  "he  acted  with 
g  2 


78  BAX. 

the  parliament,  but  maintained  the  rights  of  the  king ; 
he  enjoyed  the  benefits  of  the  protectorate,  but  spoke  and 
reasoned  against  the  protector;  he  hailed  the  return  of 
Charles,  but  doubted  whether  he  was  freed  from  allegiance 
to  Richard."  The  benefits  of  the  protectorate  are  to  be 
sought  in  confiscations  to  the  amount  of  £83,331,489, 
and  in  the  entire  loss  of  liberty  on  the  part  of  the  people. 
But  such  as  they  were  Baxter  certainly  had  his  share  in 
them,  as  he  enjoyed  at  Kidderminster  property  which 
belonged  to  another. 

Such  was  Baxter's  state  of  mind  and  circumstances  on 
the  king's  return.  "  The  national  feeling,"  says  Southey, 
"  had  already  been  manifested.  At  the  moment  that  the 
cannon  announced  the  king's  peaceful  return  to  the  palace 
of  his  fathers,  some  of  the  sequestered  bishops  and  other 
clergy  performed  a  service  of  thanksgiving  in  Henry  the 
Seventh's  chapel,  with  feelings  such  as  no  other  source  of 
joy  could  ever  have  excited  In  most  parts  of  the  country, 
where  the  minister  was  well  disposed,  a  repeal  of  the  laws 
against  the  liturgy  was  not  waited  for,  so  certain  was  it 
held,  by  every  sound  old  English  heart,  that  the  constitu- 
tion of  their  fathers  in  church  as  well'  as  in  state  was  now 
to  be  restored.  The  presbyterians  felt  this  :  but  when 
they  saw  how  impossible  it  was  to  obtain  a  real  triumph, 
they  sought  for  such  a  compromise  as  might  be  made  to 
have  the  resemblance  of  one.  Their  hope  now  was,  that 
the  Church  would  give  up  some  of  its  ceremonies  and 
alter  its  liturgy  to  their  liking.  But  in  aiming  at  this, 
their  leaders  proceeded  with  a  bad  faith,  which,  when  it 
was  detected,  abated  both  the  hope  and  the  wish  of 
conciliating  them."  Baxter's  own  account  of  the  transac- 
tions of  this  period  fully  bears  out  the  accuracy  of  this 
statement,  which  is  further  corroborated  by  the  following 
passage  from  lord  Clarendon  : 

"  Here,"  says  Clarendon,  "  I  cannot  but  instance  two 
acts  of  the  presbyterians,  by  which,  if  their  humour 
and  spirit  were  not  enough  discovered  and  known,  their 


BAX.  79 

want  of  ingenuity  and  integrity  would  be  manifest ;  and 
how  impossible  it  is  for  men  who  would  not  be  deceived, 
to  depend  on  either.  When  the  declaration  had  been 
delivered  to  the  ministers,  there  was  a  clause  in  it,  in 
which  the  king  declared  '  his  own  constant  practice  of  the 
common  prayer,'  and  that  he  would  take  it  well  from 
those  who  used  it  in  their  churches,  that  the  common 
people  might  be  again  acquainted  with  the  piety,  gravity, 
and  devotion  of  it,  and  which  he  thought  would  facilitate 
their  living  in  good  neighbourhood  together,  or  words  to 
that  effect  When  they  had  considered  the  whole  some 
days,  Mr  Calamy,  and  some  other  ministers  deputed  by 
the  rest,  came  to  the  chancellor  to  re-deliver  it  into  his 
hands.  They  acknowledged  the  king  had  been  very 
gracious  to  them  in  his  concessions;  though  he  had  not 
granted  all  that  some  of  their  brethren  wished,  yet  they 
were  contented,  only  desiring  him  that  he  would  prevail 
with  the  king,  that  the  clause  mentioned  before  might  be 
left  out,  which,  they  protested,  was  moved  by  them  for  the 
king's  own  end,  and  that  they  might  show  their  obedience 
to  him,  and  resolution  to  do  him  service.  For  they  were 
resolved  themselves  to  do  what  the  king  wished ;  first  to 
reconcile  the  people,  who  for  near  twenty  years  had  not 
been  acquainted  with  that  form,  by  informing  them  that 
it  contained  much  piety  and  devotion,  and  might  be  law- 
fully used  ;  and  then  that  they  would  begin  to  use  it 
themselves,  and  by  degrees  accustom  the  people  to  it, 
which  they  said  would  have  a  better  effect  than  if  the 
clause  were  in  the  declaration.  For  they  should  be 
thought  in  their  persuasions  to  comply  only  with  the 
king's  declaration,  and  to  merit  from  his  majesty,  and  not 
to  be  moved  from  the  conscience  of  their  duty,  and  so 
they  should  take  that  occasion  to  manifest  their  zeal  to 
please  the  king.  And  they  feared  there  would  be  other 
ill  consequences  from  it  by  the  waywardness  of  the  com- 
mon people,  who  were  to  be  treated  with  skill,  and  would 
not  be  prevailed  upon  all  at  once.  The  king  was  to  be 
present  the  next  morning,  to  hear  the  declaration  read  the 


80  BAX, 

last  time  before  both  parties,  and  then  the  chancellor  told 
him,  in  the  presence  of  all  the  rest,  what  the  ministers 
had  desired,  which  they  again  enlarged  upon,  with  the 
same  protestations  of  their  resolutions,  in  such  a  manner 
that  his  majesty  believed  they  meant  honestly,  and  the 
clause  was  left  out.  But  the  declaration  was  no  sooner 
published,  than,  observing  that  the  people  were  generally 
satisfied  with  it,  they  sent  their  emissaries  abroad,  and 
many  of  their  letters  were  intercepted,  and  particularly  a 
letter  from  Mr  Calamy,  to  a  leading  minister  in  Somerset- 
shire, whereby  he  advised  and  intreated  him  that  he  and 
his  friends  would  continue  and  persist  in  the  use  of  the 
Directory,  and  by  no  means  admit  the  common  prayer  in 
their  churches ;  for  thus  he  made  no  question  but  that 
they  should  prevail  further  with  the  king  than  he  had 
yet  consented  to  in  his  declaration  ! 

"  The  other  instance  was,  that  as  soon  as  the  declara- 
tion was  printed,  the  king  received  a  petition  in  the  name 
of  the  ministers  of  London,  and  many  others  of  the  same 
opinion  with  them,  who  had  subscribed  that  petition, 
amongst  whom  none  of  those  who  had  attended  the  king 
in  those  conferences  had  their  names.  They  gave  his 
majesty  humble  thanks  for  the  grace  he  had  vouchsafed 
to  show  in  his  declaration,  which  they  received  as  an 
earnest  of  his  future  goodness  and  condescension,  in 
granting  all  those  other  concessions,  which  were  abso- 
lutely necessary  for  the  liberty  of  their  conscience,  and 
desired,  with  importunity  and  ill  manners,  that  the  wear- 
ing the  surplice,  and  the  using  the  cross  in  baptism, 
might  be  absolutely  abolished  out  of  the  Church,  as  being 
scandalous  to  all  men  of  tender  consciences  !  From  these 
two  instances,  all  men  may  conclude  that  nothing  but  a 
severe  execution  of  the  law  can  prevail  upon  that  class  of 
men  to  conform  to  government." 

Conciliation  was,  however,  still  tried,  and  after  the 
vacant  sees  had  been  filled  up,  and  the  act  repealed  which 
excluded  the  bishops  from  parliament,  what  is  commonly 
called  the  Savoy  Conference  was  held  on  the  15th  of  April, 


BAX.  81 

1661,  under  a  warrant  issued  by  the  king  on  the  25th  of 
March,  The  commission  thus  appointed  consisted  of  an 
equal  number  of  divines  of  the  church  of  England  and  of 
presbyterians,  the  object  being  to  ascertain  from  the  latter 
what  concessions  they  required,  and  from  the  former  whe- 
ther the  Church  was  capable  of  conceding  any  points  to 
presbyterian  scruples  without  violation  of  principle.  It  is 
well  known  that  this  conference  failed  in  the  object  for 
which  it  was  intended,  and  ended  in  a  reformation  of  our 
liturgy  and  offices  of  a  catholic,  not  of  a  presbyterian  cha- 
racter. Our  divines  at  once  perceived  that  their  end  was  to 
be  the  establishment  of  God's  truth,  not  the  conciliation 
of  a  few  persons  who,  however  excellent,  were  not  to  be 
heard  when  pleading  against  the  catholic  Church.  By  the 
firmness  of  our  divines  at  that  period,  the  church  was 
placed  in  that  position  in  which  it  now  remains. 

Baxter  took  a  leading  part  in  the  Savoy  Conference, 
and  was  distinguished  rather  by  the  violence  of  his  con- 
duct than  by  extreme  principles :  the  bitterness  of  his 
spirit  as  regards  this  conference  is  painfully  apparent  in 
the  account  he  gives  of  it  in  his  life.  His  self-confidence 
was  remarkably  conspicuous  in  the  fact,  that,  not  content 
with  objecting  to  the  catholic  liturgy  of  the  Church  as 
reformed  in  the  reigns  of  Edward,  Elizabeth,  and  James, 
he  set  himself  the  task  of  writing  an  entirely  new  liturgy, 
which  he  completed  in  a  fortnight.  He  ventured  to  do 
what  the  reformers  had  not  attempted,  and  set  up  his  own 
intellect  as  equal  to  the  wisdom  of  the  whole  Church. 
Isaac  Walton,  in  his  life  of  bishop  Sanderson,  makes  the 
following  remarks  upon  the  celebrated  conference  here 
alluded  to  : 

"  The  points  debated  were,  I  think,  many;  (and  I  think 
many  of  them  needless)  some  affirmed  to  be  truth  and 
reason,  some  denied  to  be  either ;  and  these  debates  being 
at  first  in  words,  proved  to  be  so  loose  and  perplexed,  as 
satisfied  neither  party.  For  some  time  that  which  had 
been  affirmed  was  immediately  forgot,  or  mistaken,  or 
denied,  and  so  no  satisfaction  given  to  either  party.     And 


82  BAX. 

that  the  debate  might  become  more  satisfactory  and  useful, 
it  was  therefore  resolved  that  the  day  following  the  desires 
and  reasons  of  the  non-conformists  should  be  given  in 
writing,  and  they  in  writing  receive  answers  from  the 
conforming  party.  And  though  I  neither  now  can,  nor 
need  to  mention  all  the  points  debated,  nor  the  names  of 
the  dissenting  brethren  ;  yet  I  am  sure  Mr  Richard  Bax- 
ter was  one,  and  I  am  sure  also  one  of  the  points  debated 
was  '  Concerning  a  command  of  lawful  superiors,  what 
was  sufficient  towards  its  being  a  lawful  command?' — 
This  following  proposition  was  brought  by  the  conforming 
party : 

•  That  command  which  commands  an  act  in  itself  law- 
ful, and  no  other  act  or  circumstance  unlawful,  is  not 
sinful.' 

"Mr  Baxter  denied  it  for  two  reasons,  which  he  gave  in 
with  his  own  hand  in  writing  thus  :  one  was,  '  Because 
that  may  be  a  sin  per  accidens,  which  is  not  so  in  itself ; 
and  may  be  unlawfully  commanded,  though  that  accident 
be  not  in  the  command.'  Another  was,  '  That  it  may  be 
commanded  under  an  unjust  penalty.' 

"Again,  this  proposition  being  brought  by  the  conform- 
ists, '  That  command  which  commandeth  an  act  in  itself 
lawful,  and  no  other  act  whereby  any  unjust  penalty  is 
enjoined,  nor  any  circumstance  whence  per  accidens  any 
sin  is  consequent  which  the  commander  ought  to  provide 
against,  is  not  sinful.' 

"Mr  Baxter  denied  it  for  this  reason  then  given  in  with 
his  own  hand  in  writing,  thus ;  '  Because  the  first  act 
commanded  may  be  per  accidens  unlawful,  and  be  com- 
manded by  an  unjust  penalty,  though  no  other  act  or 
circumstance  commanded  be  such.' 

"Again,  this  proposition  being  brought  by  the  conform- 
ists, '  That  command  which  commandeth  an  act  in  itself 
lawful,  and  no  other  act  whereby  any  unjust  penalty  is  en- 
joined, nor  any  circumstance  whence  directly  or  per  accidens 
any  sin  is  consequent,  which  the  commander  ought  to  pro- 
vide against,  hath  in  it  all  things  requisite  to  the  lawful- 


BAX.  83 

ness  of  a  command,  and  particularly  cannot  be  guilty  of 
commanding  an  act  per  accidens  unlawful,  nor  of  command- 
ing an  act  under  an  unjust  penalty.' 

"  Mr  Baxter  denied  it  upon  the  same  reasons. 

Peter  Gunning. 
John  Pearson. 

"These  were  then  two  of  the  disputants,  still  live,  and 
will  attest  this  ;  one  being  now  lord  bishop  of  Ely,  and 
the  other  of  Chester.  And  the  last  of  them  told  me  very 
lately,  that  one  of  the  dissenters  (which  I  could,  but  for- 
bear to  name)  appeared  to  Dr  Sanderson  to  be  so  bold,  so 
troublesome,  and  so  illogical  in  the  dispute,  as  forced 
patient  Dr  Sanderson  (who  was  then  bishop  of  Lincoln, 
and  a  moderator  with  other  bishops)  to  say  with  an  un- 
usual earnestness,  ■  That  he  had  never  met  with  a  man 
of  more  pertinacious  confidence,  and  less  abilities  in  all 
his  conversation.'  " 

In  the  meantime  Baxter  had  been  kindly  treated  :  he 
had  been  one  of  the  chaplains  appointed  by  the  king  on 
his  restoration,  and  had  been  offered  a  bishopric.  But  there 
was  so  much  generosity  in  Baxter's  disposition,  and  such 
honest  devotion  to  the  cause  which,  however  mistaken,  he 
considered  to  be  the  cause  of  truth,  that  he  was  not  to  be 
bribed;  and  the  offer  of  a  bishopric  was  disgraceful  in 
those  who  made  it,  while  its  rejection  was  honourable  to 
Baxter.  When  his  vanity  was  offended  he  could  become 
a  bitter  enemy ;  but  as  to  station  he  desired  only  that,  in 
which  he  knew  that  he  could  be  useful,  and  the  object  of 
his  ambition  was  a  restoration  to  Kidderminster,  if  the 
vicar  of  that  parish  could  be  induced  to  leave  it  by  the 
offer  of  other  preferment.  This  could  never  be  effected, 
though  Baxter  endeavoured  to  create  in  the  parish  a  fac- 
tion in  his  own  favour,  which  caused  the  vicar  some  trouble. 
Being  thus  disappointed  he  preached  occasionally  in  the 
city  of  London,  having  a  license  from  Sheldon,  bishop  of 
London,  upon  his  subscribing  a  promise  not  to  preach  any 
thing  contrary  to  the  doctrine  or  the  discipline  of  the 
Church.     He  preached  his  farewell  sermon  at  Blackfriars 


84  BAX. 

in  May,  1662,  and  then  retired  to  Acton,  in  Middlesex, 
which  was  his  chief  place  of  residence  as  long  as  the  act 
against  conventicles  was   in  force. 

All  hopes  of  obtaining  a  station,  for  we  can  hardly  say 
that  he  desired  preferment,  in  the  church  of  England 
were,  of  course,  renounced  by  Baxter  when  the  act  of 
Uniformity  passed  in  1662.  This  act  required  the  clergy 
of  the  church  of  England  to  conform  to  the  liturgy  of  the 
church  of  England,  and  enacted  that  preachers  unor- 
dained  should  receive  ordination.  "  The  measure,"  says 
Mr  Sou  they,  "  was  complained  of,  as  an  act  of  enormous 
cruelty  and  persecution ;  and  the  circumstance  of  its 
being  fixed  for  St  Bartholomews  day  gave  the  com- 
plainants occasion  to  compare  it  with  the  atrocious  deed 
committed  upon  that  day  against  the  Huguenots  of 
France.  They  were  careful  not  to  remember  that  the 
same  day,  and  for  the  same  reason,  (because  tithes  were 
commonly  due  at  Michaelmas)  had  been  appointed  for  the 
former  ejection,  by  the  rebels  and  dissenters,  when  four 
times  as  many  of  the  loyal  clergy  were  deprived  for  fidelity 
to  their  sovereign.  No  small  proportion  of  the  present 
sufferers  had  obtained  preferment  by  means  of  that  tyran- 
nical deprivation  :  they  did  but  drink  now  of  the  cup  which 
they  had  administered  to  others."  Owing  to  the  act  of 
uniformity  it  is  said  by  presbyterians  that  two  thousand 
ministers  were  deprived  ;  but,  says  sir  Roger  L 'Estrange, 
"  as  to  your  account  of  two  thousand  silenced  ministers, 
a  matter  of  eight  or  nine  hundred  difference  shall  break 
no  squares  between  you  and  me." 

Common  sense  must  admit  that  if  the  Church  was  to  be 
restored  in  England,  none  could  be  admitted  to  minister 
at  her  altars  but  those  whom  the  catholic  Church  considers 
to  be  canonically  ordained,  and  who  would  conform  to  her 
doctrine  and  discipline.  In  these  days  the  very  persons 
who  are  wont  to  censure  the  conduct  of  the  restora 
tion  government  for  thus  ejecting  men  who,  at  heart, 
were  presbyterians,  are  vehement  advocates  of  the  prin- 
ciple on  which  they  acted,   and  endeavour  by  its  appli 


BAX.  85 

cation  to  drive  from  the  Church  all  who  are  supposed 
to  entertain  feelings  friendly  to  Romanism.  The  conduct 
of  all  parties  in  the  Church  at  the  present  time  thus  vin- 
dicates the  much  censured  conduct  of  the  good  and  wise 
men  who  restored  and  reformed  the  church  of  England 
after  the  restoration.  But  if  such  is  the  case,  the  change 
in  public  opinion  which  has  subsequently  taken  place, 
will  induce  another  class  of  persons  to  regret  that  a  tolera- 
tion was  not  fully  established.  It  was  proper  that  those 
only  should  be  permitted  to  minister  in  the  church  of 
England  who  conformed  to  her  formularies,  but  we  must 
regret  that  the  presbyterians  and  others  were  not  permitted 
that  full  toleration  which  they  now  enjoy.  The  truth, 
however,  is  that  the  government  desired  a  toleration,  and 
that  they  were  opposed,  and  strongly  opposed  by  the  pres- 
byterians and  puritans.  They  wished  to  be  tolerated, 
and  even  demanded  to  be  patronized  themselves,  but 
with  the  intolerance  and  the  self-deception  for  which  that 
party  have  always  been  distinguished,  they  would  rather 
suffer  themselves,  than  share  with  others  a  benefit  they 
desired.  The  feeling  of  the  puritans  may  be  perceived 
from  the  following  statements  of  Baxter  :  on  one  occasion, 
when  the  puritans  were  pleading  their  cause  with  the 
chancellor,  lord  Clarendon,  he  "  drew  out  another  paper, 
and  told  us  that  the  king  had  been  petitioned  also  by  the 
independents  and  anabaptists ;  and  though  he  knew  not 
what  to  think  of  it  himself,  and  did  not  very  well  like  it, 
yet  something  he  had  drawn  up  which  he  would  read  to 
us,  and  desire  us  also  to  give  our  advice  about  it.  There- 
upon he  read,  as  an  addition  to  the  declaration,  '  that 
others  also  be  permitted  to  meet  for  religious  worship,  so 
be  it,  they  do  it  not  to  the  disturbance  of  the  peace  ;  and 
that  no  justice  of  peace  or  officer  disturb  them.'  When 
he  had  read  it,  he  again  desired  them  all  to  think  on  it, 
and  give  their  advice  ;  but  all  were  silent.  The  presbyte- 
rians all  perceived,  as  soon  as  they  heard  it,  that  it  would 
secure  the  liberty  of  the  papists ;  and   Dr  Wallis  whis- 

VOL.  II.  h 


86  BAX. 

pered  me  in  the  ear,  and  entreated  me  to  say  nothing,  for 
it  was  an  odious  business,  but  to  let  the  bishops  speak  to 
it.  But  the  bishops  would  not  speak  a  word,  nor  any  one 
of  the  presbyterians,  and  so  we  were  like  to  have  ended  in 
silence.  I  knew,  if  we  consented  to  it,  it  would  be 
charged  on  us,  that  we  spake  for  a  toleration  of  papists 
and  sectaries  :  yet  it  might  have  lengthened  out  our  own. 
And  if  we  spake  against  it,  all  sects  and  parties  would  be 
set  against  us  as  the  causers  of  their  sufferings,  and  as  a 
partial  people  that  would  have  liberty  ourselves,  but  would 
have  no  others  enjoy  it  with  us.  At  last,  seeing  the 
silence  continue,  I  thought  our  very  silence  would  be 
charged  on  us  as  consent,  if  it  went  on,  and  therefore  I 
only  said  this  :  '  That  this  reverend  brother,  Dr  Gunning, 
even  now  speaking  against  the  sects,  had  named  the 
papists  and  the  socinians  :  for  our  parts,  we  desired  not 
favour  to  ourselves  alone,  and  rigorous  severity  we  desired 
against  none.  As  we  humbly  thanked  his  majesty  for  his 
indulgence  to  ourselves,  so  we  distinguished  the  tolerable 
parties  from  the  intolerable.  For  the  former,  we  humbly 
craved  just  lenity  and  favour,  but  for  the  latter,  such  as  the 
two  sorts  named  before  by  that  reverend  brother,  for  our 
parts,  we  could  not  make  their  toleration  our  request.' 
To  which  his  majesty  said,  there  were  laws  enough  against 
the  papists  ;  to  which  I  replied,  that  we  understood  the 
question  to  be,  whether  those  laws  should  be  executed  on 
them  or  not.  And  so  his  majesty  broke  up  the  meeting 
of  that  day." 

On  another  occasion  it  seems  that  a  toleration  had  been 
almost  obtained,  the  circumstances  of  its  failure  are  thus 
given  by  Baxter : 

"  Having  got  past  Bartholomew's  day,  I  proceed  in  the 
history  of  the  consequent  calamities.  When  I  was  absent, 
resolving  to  meddle  in  such  businesses  no  more,  Mr  Calamy 
and  the  other  ministers  of  London  who  had  acquaintances 
at  court,  were  put  in  hope  the  king  would  grant  that  by 
way  of  indulgence,  which  was  formerly  denied  them  ;  and 


BAX.  M 

that  before  the  act  was  passed,  it  might  be  provided  that 
the  king  should  have  power  to  dispense  with  such  as 
deserved  well  of  him  in  his  restoration,  or  whom  he 
pleased :  but  all  was  frustrated.  After  this,  they  were 
told  that  the  king  had  power  himself  to  dispense  in  such 
cases,  as  he  did  with  the  Dutch  and  French  churches,  and 
some  kind  of  petition  they  drew  up  to  offer  the  king ;  but 
when  they  had  done  it,  they  were  so  far  from  procuring 
their  desires,  that  there  fled  abroad  grievous  threatenings 
against  them,  that  they  should  incur  a  premunire  for  such 
a  bold  attempt.  When  they  were  drawn  to  it  at  first, 
they  did  it  with  much  hesitancy,  and  they  worded  it  so 
cautiously,  that  it  extended  not  to  the  papists.  Some  of 
the  independents  presumed  to  say,  that  the  reason  why 
all  our  addresses  for  liberty  had  not  succeeded,  was  be- 
cause we  did  not  extend  it  to  the  papists  ;  that  for  their 
parts,  they  saw  no  reason  why  the  papists  should  not  have 
liberty  of  worship  as  well  as  others ;  and  that  it  was  better 
for  them  to  have  it,  than  for  all  of  us  to  go  without  it. 
But  the  presbyterians  still  answered,  that  the  king  might 
himself  do  what  he  pleased ;  and  if  his  wisdom  thought 
meet  to  give  liberty  to  the  papists,  let  the  papists  petition 
for  it  as  we  did  for  ours ;  but  if  it  were  expected  that  we 
should  be  forced  to  become  petitioners  for  liberty  to 
popery,  we  should  never  do  it  whatever  be  the  issue  ;  nor 
should  it  be  said  to  be  our  work. 

"  On  the  '26th.  December,  1662,  the  king  sent  forth  a 
declaration,  expressing  his  purpose  to  grant  some  indul- 
gence or  liberty  in  religion,  with  other  matters,  not 
excluding  the  papists,  many  of  whom  had  deserved  so 
well  of  him.  When  this  came  out,  the  ejected  ministers 
began  to  think  more  confidently  of  some  indulgence  to 
themselves.  Mr  Nye,  also,  and  some  other  of  the  inde- 
pendents, were  encouraged  to  go  to  the  king,  and,  when 
they  came  back,  told  us,  that  he  was  now  resolved  to  give 
them  liberty.  On  the  second  of  January,  Mr  Nye  came 
to  me,  to  treat  about  our  owning  the  king's  declaration,  by 
returning  him  thanks  for  it ;  when  I  perceived  that  it  was 


88  BAX. 

designed  that  we  must  be  the  desirers  or  procurers  of  it  ; 
but  I  told  him  my  resolution  to  meddle  no  more  in  such 
matters,  having  incurred  already  so  much  hatred  and 
displeasure  by  endeavouring  unity.  The  rest  of  the 
ministers  also  had  enough  of  it,  and  resolved  that  they 
would  not  meddle;  so  that  Mr  Nye  and  his  brethren 
thought  it  partly  owing  to  us  that  they  missed  their 
intended  liberty.  But  all  were  averse  to  have  any  thing 
to  do  with  the  indulgence  or  toleration  of  the  papists, 
thinking  it  at  least  unfit  for  them." 

There  is  something  particularly  naive  in  the  one-sided 
view  of  liberality  taken  by  Baxter  in  the  following  passage, 
which  relates  to  a  plan  of  toleration  suggested  by  the 
government  in  1668.  "But  after  all  this,"  says  Baxter, 
"  we  were  as  before.  The  talk  of  liberty  did  but  occasion 
the  writing  many  bitter  pamphlets  against  toleration. 
Among  others,  they  gathered  out  of  mine  and  other  men's 
books  all  that  we  had  there  said  against  liberty  for  popery, 
and  for  quakers  railing  against  the  ministers  in  open 
congregations,  which  they  applied  as  against  a  toleration 
of  ourselves  ;  for  the  bare  name  of  toleration  did  seem  in 
the  people's  ears  to  serve  their  turn  by  signifying  the  same 
thing.  Because  we  had  said  that  men  should  not  be 
tolerated  to  preach  against  Jesus  Christ  and  the  scriptures, 
they  would  thence  justify  themselves  for  not  tolerating  us 
to  preach  for  Jesus  Christ,  unless  we  would  be  deliberate 
liars,  and  use  all  their  inventions.  Those  same  men, 
who,  when  commissioned  with  us  to  make  such  alterations 
in  the  liturgy  as  were  necessary  to  satisfy  tender  con- 
sciences, did  maintain  that  no  alteration  was  necessary  to 
satisfy  them,  and  did  moreover,  contrary  to  all  our  impor- 
tunity, make  so  many  new  burdens  of  their  own  to  be 
anew  imposed  on  us,  had  now  little  to  say  but  that  they 
must  be  obeyed,  because  they  were  imposed."  Baxter 
and  his  friends,  being  right,  ought  to  be  tolerated,  all 
other  parties,  being  wrong,  ought  not  to  be  tolerated  ;  but 
why  Baxter  and  his  friends  were  more  likely  to  be  right 
than  independents  and  papists  does  not  appear. 


BAX.  89 

In  1672  was  issued  the  king's  declaration  dispensing 
with  the  penal  laws  against  nonconformists.  "  When  it 
came  out,"  says  Baxter,  "the  London  nonconformable 
ministers  were  invited  to  return  his  majesty  their  thanks. 
At  their  meeting,  Dr  Seaman  and  Mr  Jenkins,  who  had 
been  till  then  most  distant  from  the  court,  were  for  a 
thanksgiving,  in  such  high  applauding  terms  as  L»r 
Manton,  and  almost  all  the  rest,  dissented  from.  Some 
were  for  avoiding  terms  of  approbation,  lest  the  parliament 
should  fall  upon  them ;  and  some,  because  they  would 
far  rather  have  had  any  tolerable  state  of  unity  with  the 
public  ministry  than  a  toleration;  supposing,  that  the 
toleration  was  not  chiefly  for  their  sakes,  but  for  the 
papists,  and  that  they  should  hold  it  no  longer  than 
that  interest  required  it,  which  is  inconsistent  with  the 
interest  of  the  protestant  religion,  and  the  church  of  Eng- 
land :  and  that  they  had  no  security  for  it,  but  it  might 
be  taken  from  them  at  any  time."  At  this  time  a] so,  the 
government  ordered  fifty  pounds  a  year  to  be  paid  to  most 
of  the  nonconformist  ministers  in  London,  and  a  hundred 
to  the  chief  of  them.  Baxter,  with  his  usual  independence, 
sent  back  his  pension,  which  is  represented  by  Burnet  in 
the  light  of  hush  money. 

Since  these  were  the  principles  by  which  Baxter  was 
influenced,  we  feel  less  inclined  to  sympathize  with  him 
in  the  occasional  hardships  to  which  he  was  exj^osed  dur- 
ing the  reigns  of  Charles  and  his  brother.  He  was  deter- 
mined to  preach,  and  when  he  preached  he  was  maliciously 
watched  and  malignantly  misrepresented,  not  by  the 
authorities  of  the  Church,  but  by  the  partizans  of  govern- 
ment. To  the  authorities  of  church  and  state  he  was 
often  accused,  though  always  unjustly,  of  sedition.  He  was 
often  incautious,  and  as  he  was  suspected,  the  misrepre- 
sentations of  his  conduct  were  easily  believed.  When  he 
was  in  prison,  he  was  merely  subjected  to  restraint,  until 
the  circumstances  of  his  case  were  enquired  into.     ( >n 

casion,  when  he  was  committed  bv  the  magistrate 

h  a 


90  BAX. 

under  suspicion  of  being  engaged  in  a  seditious  movement 
with  which  he  was  evidently  in  no  way  concerned,  he 
says  :  "  My  imprisonment  was  at  present  no  great  suffer- 
ing to  me,  for  I  had  an  honest  jailor,  who  showed  me  all 
the  kindness  he  could.  I  had  a  large  room,  and  the 
liberty  of  walking  in  a  fair  garden.  My  wife  was  never 
so  cheerful  a  companion  to  me  as  in  prison,  and  was  very 
much  against  my  seeking  to  be  released.  She  had  brought 
so  many  necessaries,  that  we  kept  house  as  contentedly 
and  comfortably  as  at  home,  though  in  a  narrower  room, 
and  had  the  sight  of  more  of  my  friends  in  a  day,  than  I 
had  at  home  in  half  a  year.  I  knew  also  that  if  I  got  out 
against  their  will,  my  sufferings  would  be  never  the 
nearer  to  an  end.  But  yet,  on  the  other  side,  it  was  in 
the  extreme  heat  of  summer,  when  London  was  wont  to 
have  epidemical  diseases.  The  hope  of  my  dying  in 
prison,  I  have  reason  to  think  was  one  great  inducement 
to  some  of  the  instruments  to  move  to  what  they  did.  My 
chamber  being  over  the  gate,  which  was  knocked  and 
opened  with  noise  of  prisoners  just  under  me,  almost 
every  night,  I  had  little  hope  of  sleeping  but  by  day, 
which  would  have  been  likely  to  have  quickly  broken  my 
strength,  which  was  so  little  that  I  did  but  live.  The 
number  of  visitors  daily,  put  me  out  of  hope  of  studying, 
or  of  doing  any  thing  but  entertain  them.  I  had  neither 
leave  at  any  time  to  go  out  of  doors,  much  less  to  church 
on  the  Lord's  days,  nor  on  that  day  to  have  any  come  to 
to  me,  or  to  preach  to  any  but  my  family."  His  friends 
were  justly  indignant  at  the  treatment  he  received,  and 
he  says,  "the  moderate,  honest  part  of  the  episcopal 
clergy  were  much  offended,  and  I  was  chosen  out  design- 
edly to  make  them  all  odious  to  the  people."  The 
circumstance  took  place  when  at  the  profligate  court  of 
Charles  the  church  of  England  was  out  of  favour,  and  to 
spite  the  Church  the  government  was  inclined  to  treat 
with  the  nonconformists. 

In    1662    Baxter  had   married  Margaret,  daughter  of 


BAX.  91 

Francis  Charleton,  Esq.,  of  Shropshire  ;  and  his  marriage 
created  some  laughter  and  surprise,  not  only  because  at 
forty- seven  years  of  age  he  allied  himself  to  a  young  lady 
of  twenty-two,  but  because  he  had  been  accustomed  to  talk 
rather  incautiously  in  favour  of  the  celibacy  (not  com- 
pulsory) of  the  clergy.  When  stating  the  causes  of  his 
success  at  Kidderminster,  he  says,  "  I  found  also  that  my 
single  life  afforded  me  much  advantage ;  for  I  could 
easier  take  my  people  for  my  children,  and  think  all  that 
I  had  too  little  for  them,  in  that  I  had  no  children  of  my 
own  to  tempt  me  to  another  way  of  using  it.  Being 
discharged  from  family  cares,  and  keeping  but  one  servant, 
I  had  the  greater  vacancy  and  liberty  for  the  labours  of 
my  calling."  Some  time  before  his  marriage  took  place, 
he  remarks,  in  his  usual  egotistic  strain,  which  renders 
every  thing  of  public  importance  in  his  own  estimation 
which  relates  to  himself,  "  it  was  rung  about  every  where 
partly  as  a  wonder,  and  partly  as  a  crime  ;  and  that  the 
king's  marriage  was  scarcely  more  talked  about."  For 
this,  remarks  Mr  Orme,  "  he  had  no  doubt  furnished 
some  occasion,  by  the  manner  in  which  he  had  expressed 
himself  respecting  ministers  marrying,  which  he  con- 
sidered barely  lawful." 

Besides  the  controversies  to  which  allusion  has  already 
been  made,  Baxter  had  a  long  discussion,  in  person  and  by 
writing,  with  Dr  Owen,  about  the  terms  of  agreement  with 
Christians  of  all  parties.  It  was  not  productive  of  any 
practical  effect  at  the  time,  and  Baxter,  of  course,  lays  the 
blame  of  its  failure  upon  Owen.  Baxter's  biographer  re- 
marks that  in  this  controversy  Baxter  was  sharp  and 
cutting  in  his  reproofs,  and  disposed  to  push  matters  too 
far.  He  tells  us  that  Owen  frequently  made  friends  of 
enemies*  while  Baxter  often  made  enemies  of  friends. 

After  the  indulgence  in  1672  Baxter  returned  to  Lon- 
don, and  preached  on  week-days  at  Pinner's  Hall,  at  a 
meeting  in  Fetter-lane,  and  in  St  James's  market  house  ; 
about  two  years  afterwards,  he  built  a  meeting-house  in 


92  BAX. 

Oxenden-street.  Both  there,  and  in  a  meeting-house  in 
Swallow ^ tree t,  he  was  subjected  to  much  annoyance. 

In  1682  Charles  II  being  exasperated  at  the  resistance 
offered  by  the  presbyterians  to  any  toleration  which  should 
include  the  papists,  resolved  to  humble  the  former :  and 
in  common  with  several  others,  Baxter  was  seized  for 
coming  within  five  miles  of  a  corporate  town,  contrary  to 
an  act  of  parliament ;  and  in  1684  he  was  seized  again. 
In  the  reign  of  James  II  he  was  committed  a  prisoner  to 
the  King's  Bench,  and  tried  before  the  infamous  Jeffries 
for  his  paraphrase  on  the  New  Testament,  which,  because 
it  contained  certain  allusions  to  passing  events,  and  many 
unjustifiable  and  unfair  insinuations  against  prelates  and 
prelatists,  was  stigmatized  as  a  scandalous  and  seditious 
hook  against  the  government.  The  conduct  of  Jeffries 
throughout  this  affair  was  atrocious.  Baxter  was  com- 
mitted to  prison  from  which  after  two  years  he  was  dis- 
charged, the  fine  which  had  been  imposed  upon  him  being 
remitted  by  the  king.  When  he  was  in  prison  he  was 
visited  by  his  friends,  and  by  many  even  of  the  clergy  of  the 
church  of  England  who  sympathized  with  his  sufferings, 
and  deplored  the  injustice  he  had  received.  During  his  im- 
prisonment he  enjoyed  more  quietness,  as  he  admits,  than 
he  had  done  for  many  years  before.  So  that  in  fact  the 
hardship  he  suffered  was  not  great,  though  the  conduct 
of  those  who  prosecuted  and  condemned  him  cannot  be 
sufficiency  reprobated.  We  have  an  account  of  him  in 
prison  from  the  well  known  Matthew  Henry,  in  a  letter 
addressed  to  his  father  in  1685. 

"  I  went  into  Southwark,  to  ]\Jr  Baxter.  I  was  to  wait 
upon  him  once  before,  and  then  he  was  busy.  I  found 
him  in  pretty  comfortable  circumstances,  though  a  pri- 
soner, in  a  private  house  near  the  prison,  attended  on  by 
his  own  man  and  maid.  My  good  friend,  Mr  [Samuel] 
;  Lawrence,]  went  with  me.  He  is  in  as  good  health  as 
one  can  expect;  and.  methinks,  looks  better,  and  speaks 
heartier,  than  when  I  saw  him  last.     The  token  you  sent, 


BAX.  93 

he  would  by  no  means  be  persuaded  to  accept,  and  was 
almost  angry  when  I  pressed  it,  from  one  outed  as  well  as 
bimself.  He  said  be  did  not  use  to  receive ;  and  I  un- 
derstand since,  bis  need  is  not  great. 

"  We  sat  witb  bim  about  an  bour.  I  was  very  glad  to 
find  tbat  be  so  mucb  approved  of  my  present  circumstances. 
He  said  be  knew  not  wby  young  men  migbt  not  improve 
as  well,  as  by  travelling  abroad.  He  inquired  for  bis 
Shropshire  friends,  and  observed,  that  of  those  gentlemen 
who  were  with  him  at  Wem,  be  bears  of  none  whose  sons 
tread  in  their  father's  steps  but  Colonel  Hunt's.  He  in- 
quired about  Mr  Macworth's,  and  Mr  Lloyd's  (of  Aston) 
children.  He  gave  us  some  good  counsel  to  prepare  for 
trials  ;  and  said  the  best  preparation  for  them  was,  a  life 
of  faith,  and  a  constant  course  of  self-denial.  He  thought 
it  harder  constantly  to  deny  temptations  to  sensual  lusts 
and  pleasures,  than  to  resist  one  single  temptation  to  deny 
Christ  for  fear  of  suffering ;  the  former  requiring  such 
constant  watchfulness :  however,  after  the  former,  the 
latter  will  be  the  easier.  He  said,  we  who  are  young  are 
apt  to  count  upon  great  things,  but  we  must  not  look  for 
them;  and  much  more  to  this  purpose.  He  said  he 
thought  dying  by  sickness  usually  much  more  painful  and 
dreadful,  than  dying  a  violent  death ;  especially  consider- 
ing the  extraordinary  supports  which  those  have  who  suffer 
for  righteousness'  sake." 

The  notes  and  passages  referred  to  in  the  paraphrase 
are  here  given,  and  while  the  reader  will  conclude  that 
Baxter  received  hard  measure,  we  cannot  but  remark  on 
the  irreverent  and  unchastened  tone  of  mind  with  which 
be  ventured  to  approach  the  most  sacred  subjects,  and  on 
the  absence  of  tbat  Christian  temper  of  forgiveness,  which 
we  should  have  expected  in  a  Christian  advanced  in 
years. 

Matt.  v.  19.  "  If  any  shall  presume  to  break  the  least 
of  these  commands,  because  it  is  a  little  one,  and  teach 
men  so  to  do,  he  shall  be  vilified  as  he  vilified  God's  law, 
and  not  thought  fit  for  a  place  in  the  kingdom  of  the 


94  BAX. 

Messiah  ;  but  he  shall  be  there  greatest  that  is  most  exact 
in  doing  and  teaching  all  the  law  of  God." 

Note. — "Are  not  those  preachers  and  prelates,  then,  the 
least  and  basest,  that  preach  and  tread  down  Christian 
love  of  all  that  dissent  from  any  of  their  presumptions, 
and  so  preach  down,  not  the  least,  but  the  great  com- 
mand." 

Mark  iii.  6.  "It  is  folly  to  doubt  whether  there  be 
devils,  while  devils  incarnate  dwell  among  us.  What  else 
but  devils,  sure,  could  ceremonious  hypocrites  consult  with 
politic  royalists  to  destroy  the  Son  of  God,  for  saving 
men's  health  and  lives  by  miracle  ?  Query :  Whether 
this  withered  hand  had  been  their  own,  they  would  have 
plotted  to  kill  him  that  would  have  cured  them  by  mira- 
cle, as  a  sabbath-breaker  ?  And  whether  their  successors 
would  silence  and  imprison  godly  ministers,  if  they  could 
cure  them  of  all  their  sicknesses,  help  them  to  preferment, 
and  give  them  money  to  feed  their  lusts." 

Mark  ix.  39.  Note. — "  Men  that  preach  in  Christ's 
name,  therefore,  are  not  to  be  silenced,  though  faulty :  if 
they  do  more  good  than  harm,  dreadful,  then,  is  the  case 
of  them  that  silence  Christ's  faithful  ministers." 

Mark  xi.  31.  Note. — "  It  was  well  that  they  considered 
what  might  be  said  against  them,  which  now  most  Chris- 
tians do  not  in  their  disputes.  These  persecutors,  and 
the  Romans,  had  some  charity  and  consideration,  in  that 
they  were  restrained  by  the  fear  of  '  the  people,  and  did 
not  accuse  and  fine  them,  as  for  routs,  riots,  and  sedi- 
tions.'" 

Mark  xii.  38-40.  Note. — "  Let  not  these  proud  hypocrites 
deceive  you,  who,  by  their  long  liturgies  and  ceremonies, 
and  claim  of  superiority,  do  but  cloak  their  worldliness, 
pride,  and  oppression,  and  are  religious  to  their  greater 
damnation." 

Luke  x.  2.  Note. — "Priests  now  are  many,  but  labourers 
are  few.  What  men  are  they  that  hate  and  silence  the 
faithfullest  labourers,  suspecting  that  they  are  not  for 
their  interest  ?" 


BAX.  95 

John  xi.  57.  Note. — "  1.  Christ's  ministers  are  God's 
ordinances  to  save  men,  and  the  devil's  clergy  use  them 
for  snares,  mischief,  and  murder.  2.  They  will  not  let 
the  people  be  neuters  between  God  and  the  devil,  but 
force  them  to  be  informing  persecutors." 

Acts  xv.  2.  Note. — "1.  To  be  dissenters  and  disputants 
against  errors  and  tyrannical  impositions  upon  conscience 
is  no  fault,  but  a  great  duty.  2.  It  is  but  a  groundless 
fiction  of  some  that  tell  us  that  this  was  an  appeal  to 
Jerusalem,  because  it  was  the  metropolis  of  Syria  and  An- 
tioch,  as  if  the  metropolitan  church  power  had  been  then 
settled;  when,  long  after,  when  it  was  devised,  indeed, 
Antioch  was  above  Jerusalem  ;  and  it  is  as  vain  a  fiction 
that  this  was  an  appeal  to  a  general  council,  as  if  the 
apostles  and  elders  at  Jerusalem  had  been  a  general  coun- 
cil, when  none  of  the  bishops  of  the  Gentile  churches 
were  there,  or  called  thither.  It  is  notorious  that  it  was 
an  appeal  to  the  apostles,  taking  in  the  elders,  as  those 
that  had  the  most  certain  notice  of  Christ's  mind,  having 
conversed  with  him,  and  being  intrusted  to  teach  all 
nations  whatever  he  commanded  them,  and  had  the 
greatest  measure  of  the  Spirit ;  and  also,  being  Jews 
themselves,  were  such  as  the  Judaising  Christians  had  no 
reason  to  suspect  or  reject:" — Baxter's  Xew  Testament  in 
locis." 

The  biographer  and  eulogist  of  Baxter,  Mr  Orme, 
remarks,  that  "  some  of  the  phraseology  is  pointed  and 
severe,  characteristic  of  Baxter's  style,  but  all  justly  called 
for  by  the  treatment  which  he  and  others  had  experi- 
enced." The  writer  of  this  sentence  forgot  at  the  moment 
that  Baxter  professed  to  be  the  follower  of  Him  who, 
"  when  He  was  reviled,  reviled  not  again,  when  He  suffered 
He  threatened  not." 

But  Baxter  was  more  liberal  than  the  other  puritans 
with  whom  he  was  associated :  though  his  mind  was  so 
constituted  that  he  could  accord  entirely  with  no  one,  he 
says  : 

"  If  I  were  among  the  Greeks,  the  Lutherans,  the  In- 


96  BAX. 

dependents,  yea,  the  anabaptists,  owning  no  heresy,  nor 
setting  themselves  against  charity  and  peace,  I  would 
sometimes  hold  occasional  communion  with  them  as 
Christians,  if  they  would  give  me  leave,  without  forcing 
me  to  any  sinful  subscription  or  action  ;  though  my  most 
usual  communion  should  be  with  that  society  which  I 
thought  most  agreeable  to  the  word  of  God  if  I  were  free 
to  choose.  I  cannot  be  of  their  opinion,  that  think  God 
will  not  accept  him  that  prayeth  by  the  Common  Prayer 
Book ;  and  that  such  forms  are  a  self-invented  worship, 
which  God  rejecteth  ;  nor  yet  can  I  be  of  their  mind  that 
say  the  like  of  extempore  prayers." 

After  he  was  released  from  prison  he  continued  to  live 
some  time  within  the  rules  of  the  King's  Bench ;  till,  on 
the  28th  of  February,  1687,  he  removed  to  his  house  in 
Charterhouse  yard  ;  and,  as  far  as  health  would  permit, 
assisted  Mr  Sylvester  in  his  public  labours.  He  was  too 
old  to  take  much  part  in  the  revolutionary  movements  of 
1688,  and  what  his  opinions  were  with  reference  to  the 
revolution  itself  is  unknown.  The  dissenting  ministers 
of  London  waited  upon  the  Stadtholder  on  his  arrival 
with  a  Dutch  army  in  London,  and  assured  him  of  their 
hearty  concurrence  in  his  enterprise  ;  but  Baxter  does  not 
appear  to  have  been  of  their  number.  When  the  tolera- 
tion act  passed,  dissenters  were  placed  under  the  full 
protection  of  the  law,  on  taking  the  oaths  to  government, 
and  subscribing  thirty-five  and  a  half,  of  the  thirty-nine 
articles.  This  was  the  last  public  measure  in  regard  to 
which  Baxter  took  an  active  part.  He  drew  up  a  paper 
containing  his  sense  of  the  articles  he  was  called  upon  to 
subscribe.  It  is  curious  to  see  the  same  presumption 
of  mind  operating  to  the  last.  As  the  youth  of  tv>  enty- 
three  sat  in  judgment  upon  his  mother,  the  church  of 
England;  so  the  nonconforming  Septuagenarian  sat  in 
judgment  on  the  Catholic  Church;  for,  among  other 
things,  he  objected,  except  with  an  explanation,  to  one 
important  article  in  the  Nicene  creed,  namely,  to  the 
clause  which  describes  our  Lord  as  "  God  of  God,  very 


BAX.  97 

God  of  very  God  ;"  whereby  he  proved  himself  as  ignorant 
as  he  certainly  was  presumptuous  :  nor  could  he  assent  to 
the  damnatory  clauses  of  the  Athanasian  creed,  by  which 
every  clergyman  of  the  church  of  England,  having  signed 
the  thirty-nine  articles  in  their  plain  literal  meaning, 
assents  to  an  awful  anathema  upon  all  who  do  not  hold 
the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity  in  the  Catholic  sense.  It  seems 
certain  that  he  and  others  were  permitted  to  subscribe  in 
what  has  since  been  called  a  "  non-natural"  sense. 

The  labours  and  the  life  of  Baxter  were  now  drawing 
to  a  close,  and  on  looking  back  upon  his  past  life,  he 
remarks  : 

"  In  my  younger  years,  my  trouble  for  sin  was  most 
about  my  actual  failings ;  but  now  I  am  much  more  trou- 
bled for  inward  defects  and  omissions,  for  want  of  the  vital 
duties  or  graces  of  the  soul.  My  daily  trouble  is  so  much 
for  my  ignorance  of  God,  weakness  of  belief,  want  of 
greater  love  to  God,  strangeness  to  Him  and  to  the  life  to 
come,  and  for  want  of  a  greater  willingness  to  die,  and 
more  longing  to  be  with  God  in  heaven,  that  I  take  not 
some  immoralities,  though  very  great,  to  be  in  themselves 
so  great  and  odious  sins,  if  they  could  be  found  separate 
from  these.  Had  I  all  the  riches  of  the  world,  how  gladly 
should  I  give  them  for  a  fuller  knowledge,  belief,  and 
love,  of  God  and  everlasting  glory !  These  wants  are  the 
greatest  burden  of  my  life,  which  oft  maketh  my  life  itself 
a  burden.  I  cannot  find  any  hope  of  reaching  so  high  in 
these  enjoyments,  while  I  am  in  the  flesh,  as  I  once  hoped 
before  this  time  to  have  attained  ;  which  maketh  me  the 
wearier  of  this  sinful  world,  that  is  honoured  with  so  little 
of  the  knowledge  of  God." 

"  Heretofore,  I  placed  much  of  my  religion  in  tender- 
ness of  heart,  grieving  for  sin,  and  penitential  tears  ;  and 
less  of  it  in  the  love  of  God,  in  studying  His  goodness,  and 
engaging  in  His  joyful  praises,  than  now  I  do.  Then  I 
was  little  sensible  of  the  greatness  and  excellency  of  love 
and  praise,  though  I  coldly  spake  the  same  words  as  now 

VOL.  II.  i 


P8  BAX, 

I  do.  I  am  less  troubled  for  want  of  grief  and  tears 
(though  I  value  humility,  and  refuse  not  needful  humilia- 
tion^, but  my  conscience  now  looketh  at  love  and  delight 
in  God,  and  praising  Him  as  the  top  of  all  my  religious 
duties  ;  for  which  it  is  that  I  value  and  use  the  rest." 

He  justly  observes  in  another  place  : — "  It  can  be  no 
small  sin  formally,  which  is  committed  against  knowledge 
and  conscience  and  deliberation,  whatever  excuse  it  have. 
To  have  sinned  while  I  preached  and  wrote  against  sin, 
and  had  such  abundant  and  great  obligations  from  God, 
and  made  so  many  promises  against  it,  doth  lay  me  very 
low  :  not  so  much  in  fear  of  hell,  as  in  great  displeasure 
against  myself,  and  such  self- abhorrence  as  would  cause 
revenge  upon  myself,  were  it  not  forbidden.  When  God 
forgiveth  me,  I  cannot  forgive  myself;  especially  for  my 
rash  words  or  deeds,  by  which  I  have  seemed  injurious 
and  less  tender  and  kind  than  I  should  have  been  to  my 
near  and  dear  relations,  whose  love  abundantly  obliged 
me.  When  such  are  dead,  though  we  never  differed  in 
point  of  interest,  or  any  other  matter,  every  sour,  or  cross 
provoking  word  which  I  gave  them,  maketh  me  almost 
irreconcilable  to  myself,  and  tells  me  how  repentance 
brought  some  of  old  to  pray  to  the  dead  whom  they  had 
wronged,  to  forgive  them,  in  the  hurry  of  their  passion. 

"That  which  I  named  before,  by-the-by,  is  grown  one  of 
my  great  diseases  ;  I  have  lost  much  of  that  zeal  which  I 
had  to  propagate  any  truths  to  others,  save  the  mere  fun- 
damentals. When  I  perceive  people  or  ministers  to  think 
they  know  what  indeed  they  do  not,  which  is  too  common, 
and  to  dispute  those  things  which  they  never  thoroughly 
studied,  or  expect  that  I  should  debate  the  case  with  them, 
as  if  an  hour's  talk  would  serve  instead  of  an  acute  under- 
standing and  seven  years'  study,  I  have  no  zeal  to  make 
them  of  my  opinion,  but  an  impatience  of  continuing  dis- 
course with  them  on  such  subjects,  and  am  apt  to  be  silent 
or  to  turn  to  something  else ;  which,  though  there  be  some 
reason  for  it,  I  feel  cometh  from  a  want  of  zeal  for  tl  e 
truth,   and  from  an  impatient  temper  of  mind.     I  am 


BAX.  99 

ready  to  thiDk  that  people  should  quickly  understand  all 

in  a  few  words  ;  and  if  they  cannot,  to  despair  of  them, 
and  leave  them  to  themselves.  I  know  the  more  that  this 
is  sinful  in  me,  because  it  is  partly  so  in  other  things, 
even  about  the  faults  of  my  servants  or  other  inferiors  :  if 
three  or  four  times  warning  do  no  good  to  them,  I  am 
much  tempted  to  despair  of  them,  turn  them  away,  and 
leave  them  to  themselves. 

"  I  mention  all  these  distempers  that  my  faults  may  be 
a  warning  to  others  to  take  heed,  as  they  call  on  myself 
for  repentance  and  watchfulness.  0  Lord  !  for  the  merits, 
and  sacrifice,  and  intercession  of  Christ,  be  merciful  to 
me,  a  sinner,  and  forgive  my  known  and  unknown  sins  !" 

The  latter  years  of  his  life  were  full  of  bodily  suffering 
and  sorrow ;  he  was  less  occupied  as  a  preacher,  but  was 
still  indefatigable  as  a  writer.  He  died  on  the  8th  of 
December,  1691. 

He  is  said  to  have  written  above  120  books,  and  to  have 
had  above  60  written  against  him  ;  but  the  chief  of  his 
works  are. — 1.  A  Narrative  of  his  own  Life  and  Times. 
2.  The  Saints*  Everlasting  Eest.  3.  A  Paraphr^ 
the  New  Testament.  4.  A  Call  to  the  Unconverted. 
5.  Dying  Thoughts.     6.  Poor  Man's  Family  Book. 

In  some  of  these  works,  intermixed  of  course  with  much 
that  is  erroneous,  there  are  some  beautiful  thoughts,  and 
the  fervour  with  which  he  threw  his  whole  soul  into  what 
he  wrote,  has  secured  for  them  attention  even  in  the 
present  day. — Baxter's  Life  and  Tknt 
and  the  contemporary  Historians. 

Bates.  Joshua,  was  born  at  Sheffield,  in  1671,  and  was 
one  of  the  first  persons  set  apart  as  preachers  by  the  pres- 
byterian  dissenters,  in  1694.  His  meeting-house  was  in 
Leather  Lane,  Holborn,  and  he  was  concerned  in  what  is 
called  the  Merchant's  Lecture,  at  Salter's  hall.  He  assist- 
ed in  completing  the  exposition  of  the  Bible  which  had 
been  left  unfinished  by  Matthew  Henry  He  died  in  J  740 
— Gen.  Diet. 


100  BAY. 

Bayley,  Anselm,  was  educated  at  Christ  church,  Ox- 
ford, where  he  took  the  degree  of  doctor  of  laws  in  1764. 
He  became  minor  canon  of  St  Paul's  and  of  Westminster 
abbey,  and  also  sub-dean  of  the  Chapel  Royal.  He  died  in 
1794.  His  works  are — I.  The  Antiquity,  Evidence,  and 
Certainty  of  Christianity  canvassed,  8vo.  2.  A  Practical 
Treatise  on  Singing  and  Playing,  8vo.  3.  A  plain  and 
complete  Grammar  of  the  English  language,  8vo.  4.  A 
Grammar  of  the  Hebrew  language,  8vo.  5.  The  Old 
Testament,  English  and  Hebrew,  with  remarks,  4  vols. 
8vo.  6.  The  Commandments  of  God,  in  the  Jewish  and 
Christian  churches  ;  two  sermons,  8vo.  7.  The  Alliance 
between  Music  and  Poetry,  8vo — Gent.  Mag. 

Bayly,  Lewis,  was  born  at  Caermarthen,  and  educated 
at  Oxford,  where  he  became  reader  of  the  sentences  in 
Exeter-college  in  1611.  About  the  same  time  he  was 
vicar  of  Evesham,  in  Worcestershire,  chaplain  to  Prince 
Henry,  and  rector  of  St  Matthew,  Friday-street,  London. 
In  1613,  he  accumulated  his  degrees  in  divinity,  and  in 
1616  was  consecrated  bishop  of  Bangor.  In  1621,  he  was 
committed  to  the  Fleet,  but  upon  what  account  is  not 
stated.  He  died  in  1632,  and  was  interred  in  the  cathe- 
dral of  Bangor.  This  bishop  wrote  a  book,  which  was 
once  extremely  popular,  and  went  through  sixty  editions 
in  English,  besides  several  in  Welch.  The  title  is  "  The 
Practice  of  Piety,"  8vo.  and  12mo. — Biog.  Brit. 

Bayly,  Thomas,  the  youngest  son  of  the  bishop,  was 
educated  at  Cambridge,  and  in  1638  obtained  the  sub- 
deanery  of  Wells.  Being  at  Oxford  in  1644,  he  was 
created  doctor  in  divinity,  and  two  years  afterwards  he 
resided  as  chaplain  to  the  marquis  of  Worcester,  at  Rag- 
land-castle  ;  on  the  surrender  of  which  place,  he  was  em- 
ployed to  draw  up  the  articles  of  capitulation.  After  this, 
he  travelled  abroad,  but  returned  in  1649,  and  published 
a  book  entitled,  "  Certamen  Religiosum,  or  a  conference 
between  king  Charles  I.  and  Henry,  late  marquis  of  Wor- 
cester, concerning  religion,  in  Ragland-castle,  anno  1646." 


BEATON.  101 

This  work  is  said  to  have  been  written  for  no  other 
purpose,  than  to  justify  the  doctor's  conduct  in  quitting 
the  church  of  England  for  that  of  Rome.  But  the 
truth  of  this  is  questionable,  for  the  relation  has  all  the 
evidence  of  being  a  real  conference ;  and  the  arguments 
stated  to  have  been  advanced  by  the  king,  are  far  stronger 
than  those  on  the  other  side.  The  same  year  Dr  Bayly 
published  "  The  Royal  Charter  granted  unto  Kings  ;"  for 
which  he  was  sent  to  Newgate ;  and  while  there,  wrote  a 
a  book,  entitled  "  Herba  parietis,  or  the  Wall-Flower,  as 
it  grows  out  of  the  stone  chamber  belonging  to  the  metro- 
politan prison,"  folio,  1G50.  Soon  after  this  he  effected 
his  escape,  and  went  to  Douay,  where  he  published  a  book 
called  "Dr  Bayly's  Challenge,  in  justification  of  his  con- 
version." He  next  travelled  into  Italy,  and  died  very 
poor,  in  1659.  Besides  the  above  works,  he  published — 
1.  Worcester's  Apophthegms,  or  Witty  Sayings,  of  the 
Right  Honourable  Henry,  late  Marquess  and  Earl  of  Wor- 
cester, 12mo.  1650.  2.  The  Life  of  Bishop  Fisher,  12mo. 
This  last,  however,  is  said  to  have  been  written  by  Dr 
Richard  Flail,  canon  of  the  church  of  St  Omer's,  who  died 
in  1604,  and  the  manuscript  falling  into  the  hands  of 
Dr  Bayly,  he  published  it  as  his  own. — Biog.  Brit.  D odd's 
Church  Hist. 

Beaton,  James.  This  prelate  is  rather  to  be  regarded 
as  a  statesman  than  a  divine,  and  the  notice  of  him  will 
accordingly  be  brief.  He  was  descended  from  the  family 
of  Beatons  of  Balfour,  in  Fifeshire,  and  was  appointed 
provost  of  the  collegiate  church  of  Bothwell,  in  1503.  In 
the  next  year  he  became  abbot  of  Dunfermline  and  prior 
of  Whitern  ;  and  in  1505,  through  the  favour  of  king 
James  VI. ,  to  whom  he  was  greatly  acceptable,  was  pro- 
moted to  the  office  of  lord  high  treasurer.  In  1508  he 
was  elected  bishop  of  Galloway,  and,  in  the  same  year, 
was  raised  to  the  archiepiscopal  see  of  Glasgow,  on  which 
he  resigned  the  treasurer's  place. 
2  l 


102  BEATON. 

When,  after  the  battle  of  Flodden- field,  the  regency  was 
entrusted  to  the  queen  mother,  Beaton  was  a  prominent 
member  of  the  council  appointed  to  advise  her;  and 
when,  through  her  marriage  with  the  earl  of  Angus,  her 
authority  ceased,  it  was  chiefly  through  his  intervention 
that  the  duke  of  Albany  was  enabled  to  succeed  to  the 
government.  He  was  rewarded  by  the  grateful  regent 
on  his  accession  to  power  (1515)  with  the  office  of 
chancellor  of  the  kingdom.  He  obtained  at  the  same 
time  the  abbacies  of  Arbroath  and  Kilwinning,  in  com- 
mendam. 

In  1522  he  became  archbishop  of  St  Andrews  and  pri- 
mate of  the  Scottish  Church.  Referring  the  reader  to  the 
history  of  Scotland  for  a  narrative  of  Beaton's  conduct  as  a 
statesman,  we  shall  only  mention  here,  that  in  his  primacy 
the  first  blood  was  shed  in  the  cause  of  protestantism. 

There  were  many  good  and  earnest  men  who  felt  that  a 
reform  was  required  in  the  established  church,  but  the 
government  was  unsettled  and  the  age  was  revolutionary, 
and  they  were  afraid  to  move.  Their  constant  reference, 
however,  to  the  corruptions  of  the  Scottish  establishment, 
awakened  the  enthusiasm  and  inflamed  the  passions  of 
younger  men.  A  party  among  the  nobles  who  envied  the 
wealth  of  the  Church,  and  were  unscrupulous  in  their  mea- 
sures for  the  advancement  of  their  faction,  were  soon  found 
to  encourage  the  protestant  feeling.  At  the  same  time 
Scotland  was  divided  into  two  great  parties,  the  one  deter- 
mined to  maintain  the  independence  of  the  country,  and 
in  the  French  interest,  the  other  in  the  English  interest, 
ready,  from  personal  motives,  to  bring  Scotland  into  sub- 
jection to  the  English  crown.  As  the  protestants  belonged 
entirely  to  the  latter  party,  they  were  of  course  obnoxious 
on  political  as  well  as  on  religious  grounds  to  the  exist- 
ing government.  Every  conservative  feeling  was  aroused 
against  the  innovators,  who  were  seeking  to  reform  the 
Church,  and  in  their  zeal  for  reform  would  not  care  to 
sacrifice   the  independence   of  their  country.     The  pro- 


BEATON.  Ki3 

testants,  at  first  consisted  of  earnest  and  zealous  men, 
admired  for  their  talents  and  respected  for  their  vir- 
tues :  while  they  remained  few  in  number  and  beneath 
notice  as  a  party,  the  government  was  quiescent,  notwith- 
standing the  frequent  exhortations  of  timid  conservatives 
who  required  that  strong  measures  should  be  adopted  to 
put  them  down.  The  fury  of  those,  who,  attached  to  the 
establishment  of  the  country,  required  the  destruction  of 
the  innovators,  has  not  been  surpassed  even  by  the  violence 
of  puritans,  when,  at  a  subsequent  period,  puritanism  was 
in  the  ascendant :  the  heads  of  the  Church  and  the  minis- 
ters of  the  crown  were  rebuked  as  careless  and  indifferent 
by  those  who  arrogated  to  themselves  the  title  of  their 
best  supporters.  In  the  meantime  hot-headed  young  men 
had  joined  the  protectant  party,  and  the  whole  party  had 
been  hurried  into  excesses  ;  they  boldly  proclaimed  that 
tithes  ought  not  to  be  paid  to  the  clergy,  that  every  faith- 
ful man  and  woman  is  a  priest,  that  the  unction  of  kings 
ceased  at  the  coming  of  Christ,  that  the  blessing  of  bishops 
is  of  no  value,  that  excommunication  of  the  Church  is 
not  to  be  feared,  that  oaths  are  in  all  cases  unlawful, 
that  true  Christians  receive  the  Body  of  Christ  every  day  : 
many  added  that  man  has  no  free  will,  that  all  good  Chris- 
tians know  that  they  are  under  grace,  that  works  can  make 
us  neither  good  nor  evil,  and  can  neither  save  nor  con- 
demn us ;  they  even  went  so  far  as  to  say  that  God  is  the 
author  of  sin,  since  He  withholds  his  grace  from  some,  and 
since  without  grace  they  must  of  necessity  sin.  The  poli- 
tical principles  maintained  by  this  party  may  be  gathered 
from  the  account  of  John  Major,  the  author  of  the  De 
Gestis  Sectorum,  as  given  by  Dr  Mc'Crie,  who  says  that 
he  taught  "that  the  authority  of  kings  and  princes  were 
originally  derived  from  the  people;  that  the  former  are  not 
superior  to  the  latter  collectively  considered  ;  that  if  the 
rulers  become  tyrannical,  or  employ  their  power  for  the 
destruction  of  their  subjects,  they  may  lawfully  be  con- 
trolled by  them  ;  and  proving  incorrigible  may  be  deposed 
by  the  community  as  the  superior  power;  and  that  tyrants 


104  BEATON. 

may  be  judicially  proceeded  against,  even  to  capital  pun- 
ishment. "The  affinity,"  he  adds,  "between  these  and 
the  political  opinions  afterwards  avowed  by  Knox,  and  de- 
fended by  the  classic  pen  of  Buchannan,  is  too  striking  to 
require  illustration."  However  consistent  these  principles 
may  have  been  with  the  religion  of  John  Knox,  who  justi- 
fied the  murder  of  Cardinal  Beaton  and  David  Rizzio, — 
who  deposed  the  queen-regent  of  Scotland,  and  embittered 
the  life  of  her  daughter  by  his  insults, — we  are  not  to  be 
surprised  at  finding  the  conservative  feeling  of  the  nation 
excited  against  those  who  at  first  maintained  them  ;  or 
that  when  the  innovators  increased  in  number,  the  autho- 
rities in  church  and  state  should  determine  to  act  against 
them.  They  thought,  by  acting  vigorously,  to  put  an  end 
to  what  they  regarded  as  an  evil.  In  those  days  it  never 
occurred  to  any  one  that  such  an  evil  could  be  corrected 
except  by  a  public  execution.  The  same  class  of  persons 
who  a  few  years  ago  justified  the  custom  of  executing  those 
who  had  been  convicted  of  forgery,  on  the  ground  that 
whatever  other  good  qualities  they  possessed,  the  welfare 
of  a  commercial  country  required  their  death,  would,  at 
the  period  now  under  consideration,  demand  for  the  same 
reasons  the  blood  of  heretics.  Blood  indeed  was  shed  on 
all  sides,  catholics  had  recourse  to  legal  executions,  pro- 
testants  to  assasinations  and  murder,  each  party  thinking 
the  means  to  be  justified  by  the  end. 

The  first  victim  was  Patrick  Hamilton,  abbot  of  Feme, 
a  Premonstratensian  monastery  in  Ross-shire,  who  having 
learned  protestantism  from  Luther  and  Melancthon  in 
Germany,  preached  it  with  vehemence  on  his  return  home. 
He  was  tried,  found  guilty,  and  executed  at  St  Andrews. 
But  persecution  has  never  answered  the  purpose  for  which 
it  was  intended,  and  as  if  to  mark  the  divine  disapproba- 
tion, the  result  always  is,  that  it  proves  injurious  to  the 
cause  it  was  designed  to  serve.  This  was  seen  to  be  the 
case  by  the  religious  as  distinguished  from  the  political 
catholics  of  the  period,  insomuch  that  in  1533,  when  a 
young  Benedictine.    Henry  Forest,    was   condemned   to 


BEATON.  105 

be  burnt,  one  of  the  archbishops  recommended  that  he 
should  be  burnt  in  a  cellar,  for,  said  he,  "  the  smoke  of 
Patrick  Hamilton  hath  infected  all  those  on  whom  it 
blew."  The  manner  in  which  evidence  was  obtained 
against  both  Hamilton  and  Forest  was  infamous :  they 
were  both  entrapped  by  pretended  friends  into  a  con- 
fession which  was  used  as  evidence  against  them ;  and  in 
the  case  of  Forest,  this  confession  was  made  sacramen- 
tally,  and  in  receiving  as  well  as  giving  it  for  the  purpose 
of  condemning  him,  a  principle  of  the  Church  was  grossly 
violated.  But  Forest  seems  to  have  been  a  man  of  violent 
temper.  When  he  was  to  be  degraded  he  cried  with  a 
loud  voice  "  Fie  a'  falsehood  !  fie  a'  false  friars  !  revealers 
of  confession :  after  this  day  let  no  man  ever  trust  any 
false  friars,  contemners  of  God's  word  and  deceivers  of 
men."  When  they  proceeded  to  degrade  him  of  his  orders, 
he  said  with  a  loud  voice,  "  Take  from  me  not  only  your 
orders,  but  also  your  own  baptism." 

James  Beaton  was  a  man  of  enormous  wealth,  and  was 
described  by  the  English  ambassadors  as  "  the  man  next 
the  king,  of  the  greatest  substance  both  of  lands  and  goods, 
and  most  esteemed  for  his  policy  and  wisdom  of  others." 
He  lived  magnificently,  and  nearly  succeeded  in  purcha- 
sing a  cardinal's  hat.  When  it  is  added  that  in  private 
life  he  was  licentious,  it  will  be  seen  how  much  the  Scot- 
tish church  at  this  time  needed  a  reform,  and  how  natural 
were  the  feelings  of  indignation  which  the  protestants 
exhibited,  although  those  feelings  hurried  them  to  frightful 
excesses.  He  was  not  devoid  of  humanity,  and  the  design 
of  the  new  Divinity  Hall  at  Aberdeen  was  conceived  by 
him,  though  he  did  not  live  to  execute  it. 

He  died  in  1539.  With  reference  to  his  persecutions,  it 
is  said  that  he  was  very  reluctant  to  have  recourse  to  them, 
and  acted  rather  as  a  conservative  statesman  than  as  a 
theologian,  for,  as  Spotiswood  observes,  "  he  was  neither 
violently  set,  nor  indeed  much  solicitous,  as  was  thought, 
how  matters  went  in  the  Church." — Spotiswood.  Keith. 
Tytler.   Lyons  Hist,  of  St  Andrews.    Crawford. 


106  BEATON. 

Beaton,  David,  nephew  to  the  archbishop,  of  the  same 
name,  of  whom  an  account  has  been  given  in  the  preceding 
article,  was  born  in  the  year  1494,  and  was  educated  first 
at  St  Andrews  and  afterwards  at  Paris,  where  he  greatly 
distinguished  himself.  He  remained  in  France  for  some 
time  after  his  ordination,  and  was  at  an  early  period  em- 
ployed by  John  duke  of  Albany.  As  David  Beaton,  like 
his  uncle,  was  more  a  statesman  than  a  divine,  it  will  be 
unnecessary  to  do  more  than  allude  to  the  many  prefer- 
ments he  held,  and  to  refer  the  reader  to  Tytler's  History 
of  Scotland  for  an  account  of  his  administration  and  poli- 
tical intrigues.  But  we  cannot  refrain  from  again  alluding 
to  the  miserable  condition  of  the  church  in  Scotland,  when 
ecclesiastical  preferments  were  thus  used  as  the  cheap 
means  of  remunerating  a  minister  of  the  crown  ;  nor  let 
it  be  forgotten  that  this  was  done  with  the  full  sanction  of 
the  pope  of  Rome.  When  in  1528  he  became  abbot  of 
Arbroath,  the  pope,  dispensed  with  his  taking  the  habit 
for  two  years,  at  the  wish  of  the  king,  who  desired  his 
attendance  in  France.  In  the  application  made  in  his 
behalf,  Beaton  was  styled  protonotary  of  St  Andrews, 
the  king's  domestic  counsellor  and  servant,  and  chancellor 
of  the  church  of  Glasgow.  He  had  been  appointed  in 
1519  resident  at  the  court  of  France,  and  at  that  time, 
being  only  in  deacon's  orders,  he  received  from  the  arch- 
bishop of  Glasgow  the  rectory  of  Campsay.  In  1528  he  be- 
came Lord  High  Privy  Seal ;  and  by  his  advice,  it  is 
said,  James  established  in  1530  the  college  of  Justice. 
In  his  various " missions  for  political  objects  to  France,  he 
so  conciliated  the  esteem  of  Francis  I.,  that  in  1537  the 
French  king  granted  him  a  license  to  hold  lands  and  to 
acquire  benefices  in  France  ;  and  at  the  same  time  con- 
ferred upon  him  the  bishopric  of  Mirepoix.  On  his  return 
to  Scotland  he  became  coadjutor  of  his  uncle  the  arch- 
bishop of  St  Andrews,  and,  owing  to  the  infirmities  of  his 
grace,  possessed  all  the  power  and  influence  which  at  that 
time  attached  to  the  metropolitan  see.  On  the  28th  of 
December,  1538,  pope  Paul  III.  raised  him  to  the  dignity 
of  Cardinal  in  the  Roman  church,  by  the  title  of  St  Ste- 


BEATON.  107 

phen  in  Monte  Coelio.  He  was  thus  a  Scotch  archbishop, 
a  French  bishop,  and  a  Roman  cardinal.  On  the  death 
of  James  Beaton,  a  few  months  afterwards,  he  succeeded 
to  the  primacy  of  the  Scottish  church. 

As  soon  as  he  had  been  appointed  to  the  primacy  he 
determined  to  act  vigorously  against  the  reforming  party. 
He  was  himself  a  man  of  licentious  habits,  a  statesman, 
and  even  a  warrior :  he  is  said  on  one  occasion  to  have 
challenged  an  opponent  to  single  combat ;  he  was  secular 
in  all  his  feelings  ;  he  cared  therefore  as  little  for  religion 
as  the  mere  political  advocate  of  Church  and  state  in  the 
present  day,  although  violent  against  all  opponents.     But 
the  reformers  in  Scotland  were   radical  reformers,    and 
were  prepared  for  revolution  in  the  state,  as  well  as  in  the 
Church  :   in  England  where,  except  during  the  short  reign 
of  Mary,  the  civil  authorities  were  favourable  to  a  reform 
in  the  Church,  the  leading  reformers  were  inclined  to  pay 
a  deference  to  the  crown  which  must  be  considered  by  us 
excessive ;  but  in  Scotland,  where  an  anti-reform  govern- 
ment existed  they  were  goaded  on  almost  to  frenzy,  and 
were  prepared  for  any  revolutionary  violence.     Cardinal 
Beaton,  therefore,  as  a  politician,  determined  to  put  them 
down  with  a  strong  hand,   and  being  a  churchman  also, 
was  able  to  avail  himself  of  the  instru mentality  of  the 
Church.    Accordingly  he  repaired  to  St  Andrews  attended 
by  the  earls   of  Huntley,  Arran,  Marshal,  and  Montrose  ; 
the  lords  Fleming,  Lindsay,  Erskine,  Somerville,  Torphi- 
chen,   and  Seaton,   and  several  other  barons  and  men  of 
rank;  together  with  five  bishops;  and  there,  in  May  1540, 
he  held  a  visitation,   at  which,  enquiry  was  made  after 
heretics,  and  sir  John  Borthwick  was  condemned  for  con- 
tumacy.    About  the  same  time  John  Killor,  a  black  friar, 
Duncan  Simpson,    a   priest   of   Stirling,    Dean   Thomas 
Forret,  vicar  of  Dalor  and  canon  regular,  John  Beverage, 
black   friar,  and  Robert  Forrester,    were  condemned  as 
heresiarchs  or  chief  heretics  and  teachers  of  heresy.     We 
are  led  to  pity  these  sufferers  the  more,  when  we  consider 
the  state  of  the  established  church  in  Scotland  at  tins 


108  BEATON. 

period.  The  bishops,  of  whom  the  cardinal  was  not  the 
worst  specimen,  were  most  of  them  worldly  men,  thinking 
more  of  their  own  honour  than  of  promoting  God's  glory  ; 
the  clergy,  when  ecclesiastical  honours  were  not  within 
their  reach,  were,  with  some  honourable  exceptions,  seek- 
ing their  comforts,  and  among  them  concubinage  very 
generally  prevailed:  a  fact  which  proved  their  sensual 
character,  and  tended  to  increase  and  perpetuate  their  de- 
moralization. They  were  not  permitted  to  be  honourably 
married,  and  though  they  considered  themselves  to  be  so 
virtually,  yet  they  felt  that  there  was  a  stigma  upon  their 
character,  and  that  they  could  not  be  accounted  devout 
men,  and  so  they  fell  into  carelessness  of  living.  That 
earnest  minded  men  should  be  offended  at  this  state  of 
things  is  not  to  be  wondered  at ;  nor  is  it  surprising  that 
from  censuring  the  conduct  of  the  clergy  they  should  pro- 
ceed to  a  protest  against  the  many  strange  doctrines 
which  had  crept  into  the  Church  :  as  the  first  reformers 
were  generally  of  the  clerical  order,  it  was  the  more 
natural  that  they  should  thus  go  to  the  root  of  the  evil. 
By  the  bishops  and  leading  persons  in  Church  and  state 
they  were  met  with  hatred  and  contempt,  with  misrepre- 
sentation and  abuse;  and  thus  by  degrees,  those  who  com- 
menced their  career,  like  sir  John  Borthwick,  who  has 
just  been  mentioned,  as  very  moderate  reformers,  were 
hurried  on  to  the  most  unjustifiable  excesses,  and  instead 
of  seeking  to  reform  the  Church,  joined  in  the  infidel  cry 
of  "  down  with  it,  down  with  it,  even  to  the  ground." 

Well  would  it  have  been  for  Beaton  if  his  angry  feel- 
ings could  have  evaporated  in  a  mere  visitation  charge,  or 
if  the  latitudinarian  conservatives  of  the  day  had  been  con- 
tented with  a  censure  of  the  reformers  upon  paper.  He 
was  unfortunately  invested  with  arbitrary  power,  and 
arbitrarily  did  he  use  it.  By  the  class  of  men  who  would 
in  these  days  crowd  Exeter  Hall  to  hear  a  denunciation  of 
the  papists,  consigning  in  their  imaginations  those  from 
whom  they  differed  to  everlasting  perdition,  Beaton  was 
in  those   days   applauded.     His  course  was  approved  by 


BEATON.  109 

the  nobles  of  the  land,  until  their  influence  was  purchased 
by  the  reformers  through  the  offer  of  the  property  of  the 
Church. 

Cardinal  Beaton,  like  his  uncle,  though  scandalous  as  a 
prelate,  was  nevertheless  an  honourable  man  of  the  world, 
and  a  lover  of  his  countiy.  In  order  to  obtain  and  to  pre- 
serve his  political  influence  and  station,  he  had  recourse 
to  all  the  arts  of  the  politician,  but  the  honour  and  inde- 
pendence of  Scotland  was  ever  near  his  heart.  The  re- 
formers, and  those  of  the  nobility  who  from  political  con- 
siderations joined  their  party,  were  willing  to  hand  over 
the  government  of  Scotland  to  the  king  of  England,  who 
was  intriguing  for  this  purpose.  It  had  long  been  a 
favourite  object  with  Henry  VIII  to  unite  the  two  king- 
doms under  one  of  his  own  family :  the  immediate  end 
aimed  at  by  himself  and  his  faction  in  Scotland  was 
to  effect  a  marriage  union  between  his  son,  prince  Edward, 
and  Mary,  the  infant  queen  of  Scots ;  and  he  stipulated  to 
have  charge  of  the  infant  queen's  person  and  education,  and 
to  be  put  in  possession  of  the  chief  fortresses  in  Scotland,  to 
enjoy  the  title  of  Protector  of  Scotland,  with  power  to  ap- 
point a  local  regent  to  act  under  his  directions.  How  any 
patriotic  mind  could  consent  to  such  a  measure  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  imagine  :  the  cardinal  was  resolutely  opposed  to  it, 
and  the  whole  of  his  ministerial  career  seems  to  have 
been  devoted  to  the  frustration  of  the  schemes  of  the 
English  king.  Cardinal  Beaton  had  therefore  in  Henry 
a  deadly  and  unscrupulous  enemy.  Henry  the  VIHth 
had  the  more  power  as  he  was  regarded  as  the  patron  of 
the  reformation  in  Scotland,  and  as  the  reformers  at  all 
times  looked  for  protection  from  him.  The  royal  reformer 
checked  the  excesses  of  the  reforming  party  in  England  as 
caprice  might  suggest,  or  sound  policy  dictate ;  but  in 
Scotland  he  gave  the  reformers  his  consistent  support.  In 
point  of  morals  there  was  not  much  to  choose  between  the 
illustrious  reformer  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  head  of  the 
Scottish  conservatives  in  Church  and  state  on  the  other, 

VOL    II.  K 


110  BEATON. 

but  it  must  be  admitted  that  Beaton  never  had  recourse  to 
such  base  and  mean  arts  against  his  adversary,  as  Henry, 
to  his  everlasting  disgrace,  condescended  to  employ.  Not 
only  did  Henry,  through  his  minister,  seek  at  one  time  to 
destroy,  by  misrepresentation,  the  influence  of  Beaton  with 
his  sovereign,  but  he  entered  at  a  later  period  into  a  con- 
spiracy for  his  private  assassination.  The  offer  was  made 
by  the  earl  of  Cassilis,  one  of  the  reformers,  "  for  the 
killing  of  the  cardinal  if  his  majesty  would  have  it  done, 
and  promise  when  it  was  done  a  reward."  The  king's 
answer  to  the  earl  of  Hertford,  through  whom  the  pro- 
posal was  transmitted,  was,  "  that  his  highness  reputing 
the  fact  not  meet  to  be  set  forward  expressly  by  his  ma- 
jesty will  not  seem  to  do  in  it,  and  yet  not  misliking  the 
offer,  thinketh  it  good  that  Mr  Sadler,"  to  whom  Cassilis, 
in  the  first  instance,  made  the  offer,  "  should  write  to  the 
earl,"  and  say,  that  he  had  not  thought  proper  to  com- 
municate the  project  to  the  king,  but  that  "if  he  were  in 
the  earl  of  Cassilis's  place,  and  were  as  able  to  do  his 
majesty  good  service  there,  as  he  knoweth  him  to  be,  and 
thinketh  a  right  good  will  in  him  to  do  it,  he  would  surely 
do  what  he  could  for  the  execution  of  it,"  trusting  that 
"  the  king's  majesty  would  consider  his  service  in  the 
same." 

The  conspirators,  as  cautious  as  Henry,  were  not 
satisfied  with  this  answer,  and  the  plot  was  not  immedi- 
ately executed,  though  the  assassination  of  the  cardinal  at 
no  distant  period  was  determined  upon.  Of  those  who 
were  fixed  upon  to  carry  into  effect  this  diabolical  plot, 
some  were  personal  enemies  of  the  cardinal,  seeking  an 
opportunity  of  revenge,  some  were  mercenary  wretches, 
ready  to  execute  any  villany  for  money,  and  others  were 
reforming  preachers.  Among  the  persons  engaged  in 
the  plot,  George  Wishart,  called  by  presbyterians  "  the 
martyr,"  was  one;  and  there  seems  to  be  little  doubt  that 
Beaton  was  well  informed  of  its  existence,  Wishart, 
besides  his  personal  hostility  to  the  cardinal,  was  under  the 


BEATON.  Ill 

influence  of  excited  religious  feeling ;   he  peramly 
the   counties  of   Scotland,    denouncing  popery   and  the 
bishops  of  the   established  church,   under  the  armed  pro- 
tection of  the  principal  conspirators,   over  whom  he  exer- 

considerable  influence,  and  at  whose  hoiu 
lived.  From  his  knowledge  of  the  conspiracy,  and  his 
acquaintance  with  the  political  intrigues  of  the  day,  he 
sometimes  ventured  to  prophecy,  and  this  he  did  with 
such  accuracy,  that  many  religious  persons,  who  were 
moved  by  his  preaching,  regarded  him  as  inspired.  I 
these  circumstances,  Beaton  determined  to  have  him 
arrested  and  tried  on  a  charge  of  heresy,  which  he  knew, 
as  the  law  then  stood,  he  would  have  no  difficulty  in 
substantiating.  Accordingly,  he  prevailed  on  the  governor 
of  Scotland  to  send  a  troop  of  horse  under  the  command 
of  the  earl  of  Bothwell,  in  the  beginning  of  the  year  1546, 
into  East  Lothian,  where  Wishart  was  staving  with  one  of 
the  conspirators.  Two  celebrated  reformers  were  in  his 
company  at  the  time,  John  Knox  and  James  Melville  :  it 
was  suspicious  company,  for  John  Knox  maintained  the 
general  doc-trine  that  it  was  lawful  to  destroy  tyrants,  and 
the  preacher  Melville  actually  gave  the  fatal  stroke  to  the 
cardinal.  As  soon  as  Wishart  was  secured,  he  was 
to  St  Andrews,  and  placed  under  the  charge  of  the  cardinal 
himself,  who  hastened  his  trial.  The  forms  of  ji 
appear  to  have  been  strictly  observed  at  the  trial,  and 
Wishart,  though  the  real  cause  of  his  death  was  his  deter- 
mination to  assassinate  the  cardinal,  since  this  could  not 
be  at  the  time  substantiated,  though  we  have  now  in  our 
possession  full  proof  of  the  fact,  was  condemned  as  a 
heretic.  His  execution  as  a  heretic  excited  the  compas- 
sion of  the  protestants,  and  disgusted  many  who  had  not 
avowed  themselves  such.  He  endured  his  sufferings  with 
apparent  composure  and  astonishing  fortitude,  being  exe- 
cuted on  the  first  of  March,  1546.  He  was  accounted  a 
martyr  to  the  protestant  cause,  till  of  late  years  :  but  now, 
when  his  share  in  the  conspiracy  has  been  fully  proved 
his  name  will  probably  be  obliterated  from  the  protestant 


112  BEATON. 

calender,  except  by  those  who  consider  that  the  end  jus- 
tifies the  means  however  atrocious,  and  that  we  may  do 
wrong  that  good  may  come. 

Immediately  after  Wishart's  execution,  the  cardinal  set 
out  on  a  journey  to  Tindhaven,  for  the  purpose  of  marrying 
his  daughter  to  the  master  of  Crawford.  The  bride 
received  a  dower  of  a  thousand  marks  sterling  from  her 
father,  and  the  ceremony  was  performed  in  a  style  of 
uncommon  magnificence.  Although  the  cardinal  was 
accused  by  his  enemies  of  various  intrigues,  his  daughter 
Margaret  was  his  legitimate  offspring,  for  he  was  married 
before  he  entered  into  holy  orders,  and  by  his  wife, 
Marion  Ogilby,  daughter  of  the  first  lord  Ogilby  of  Airly, 
he  had  several  children.  It  was  not  probable  that  he 
would  at  this  period  have  outraged  public  decency  by 
celebrating  with  such  magnificence  the  marriage  of  an 
illegitimate  daughter.  After  the  marriage,  the  cardinal 
returned  to  St  Andrews,  to  strengthen  his  fortifications 
against  another  threatened  attack  of  his  enemy,  king 
Henry  VIII. 

Meanwhile  the  conspirators  were  not  idle.  Either 
trembling  for  their  own  fate,  or  anxious  to  be  revenged 
for  the  death  of  their  friend  Wishart,  they  resolved  to 
delay  no  longer  the  accomplishment  of  their  plot.  Having 
succeeded  in  gaining  admission  into  the  castle  of  St 
Andrews,  they  murdered  the  cardinal  on  the  29th  of  May, 
1546.  The  following  is  Tytler's  eloquent  account  of  the 
bloody  deed  : — "  On  the  evening  of  the  28th  May,  Norman 
Lesley  came,  with  only  five  followers,  to  St  Andrews,  and 
rode,  without  exciting  suspicion,  to  his  usual  inn.  William 
Kirkaldy  of  Grange  was  there  already,  and  they  were  soon 
joined  by  John  Lesley,  who  took  the  precaution  of  entering 
the  town  after  night-fall,  as  his  appearance,  from  his 
known  enmity  to  Beaton,  might  have  raised  alarm.  Next 
morning  at  day-break,  the  conspirators  assembled  in  small 
detached  knots  in  the  vicinity  of  the  castle ;  and  the 
porter  having  lowered  the  drawbridge  to  admit  the  masons 
employed  in  the  new  works,  Norman  Lesley,  and  three 


BEATON.  113 

men  with  him,  passed  the  gates,  and  inquired  if  the 
cardinal  was  yet  awake  ?  This  was  done  without  suspi- 
cion ;  and  as  they  were  occupied  in  conversation,  James 
Melville,  Kirkaldy  of  Grange,  and  their  followers,  entered 
unnoticed ;  but  on  perceiving  John  Lesley  who  followed, 
the  porter  instantly  suspected  treason,  and,  springing  to 
the  drawbridge,  had  unloosed  its  iron  fastening,  when  the 
conspirator  Lesley  anticipated  his  purpose  by  leaping 
across  the  gap.  To  despatch  him  with  their  daggers,  cast 
the  body  into  the  fosse,  and  seize  the  keys  of  the  castle, 
employed  but  a  few  minutes;  and  all  was  done  with 
such  silence  as  well  as  rapidity,  that  no  alarm  had  been 
given.  With  equal  quietness  the  workmen  who  laboured 
on  the  ramparts  were  led  to  the  gate  and  dismissed. 
Kirkaldy,  who  was  acquainted  with  the  castle,  then  took 
his  station  at  a  private  postern,  through  which  alone  any 
escape  could  be  made ;  and  the  rest  of  the  conspirators 
going  successively  to  the  apartments  of  the  different  gen- 
tlemen who  formed  the  prelate's  household,  awoke  them, 
and  threatening  instant  death  if  they  spoke,  led  them  one 
by  one  to  the  outer  wicket,  and  dismissed  them  unhurt. 
In  this  manner,  a  hundred  workmen  and  fifty  household 
servants  were  disposed  of  by  a  handful  of  men,  who, 
closing  the  gates  and  dropping  the  portcullis,  were  com- 
plete masters  of  the  castle.  Meanwhile,  Beaton,  the 
unfortunate  victim,  against  whom  all  this  hazard  had  been 
encountered,  was  still  asleep  ;  but  awakening,  and  hearing 
an  unusual  bustle,  he  threw  on  a  night-gown,  and  drawing 
up  the  window  of  his  bedchamber,  inquired  what  it 
meant  ?  Being  answered  that  Norman  Lesley  had  taken 
the  castle,  he  rushed  to  the  private  postern,  but  seeing  it 
already  guarded,  returned  speedily  to  his  own  apartment, 
seized  his  sword,  and,  with  the  assistance  of  his  page, 
barricaded  the  door  on  the  inside  with  his  heaviest 
furniture.  John  Lesley  now  coming  up,  demanded  admit- 
tance. '  Who  are  you?'  said  the  cardinal.  'My  name/ 
he    replied,    « is  Lesley.' — '  Is  it   Norman  ?' — asked   the 

k-2 


114  BEATON. 

unhappy  man,  remembering  probably  the  bond  of  man- 
rent.  '  I  must  have  Norman,  he  is  my  friend.' — ■  Nay,  I 
am  not  Norman,'  answered  the  ruffian,  '  but  John ;  and 
with  me  ye  must  be  contented.'  Upon  which  he  called 
for  fire,  and  was  about  to  apply  it  to  the  door,  when  it 
was  unlocked  from  within.  The  conspirators  now  rushed 
in,  and  Lesley  and  Carmichael  throwing  themselves 
furiously  upon  their  victim,  who  earnestly  implored  mercy, 
stabbed  him  repeatedly.  But  ^Melville,  a  milder  fanatic, 
('  a  man,'  says  Knox,  •  of  nature  most  gentle  and  most 
modest,')  who  professed  to  murder,  not  from  passion,  but 
from  religious  duty,  reproved  their  violence.  ■  This  judg- 
ment of  God,'  said  he,  '  ought  to  be  executed  with  gravity, 
although  in  secret ;'  and  presenting  the  point  of  his  sword 
to  the  bleeding  prelate,  he  called  on  him  to  repent  of  his 
wicked  courses,  and  especially  of  the  death  of  the  holy 
Wishart,  to  avenge  whose  innocent  blood  they  were  now 
sent  by  God.  'Remember,'  said  he,  'that  the  mortal 
stroke  I  am  now  about  to  deal,  is  not  the  mercenary  blow 
of  a  hired  assassin,  but  the  just  vengeance  which  hath 
fallen  on  an  obstinate  and  cruel  enemy  of  Christ  and  the 
holy  gospel.'  On  saying  this,  he  repeatedly  passed  his 
sword  through  the  body  of  his  unresisting  victim,  who 
sunk  down  from  the  chair  to  which  he  had  retreated,  and 
instantly  expired.  The  alarm  had  now  risen  in  the  town ; 
the  common  bell  was  rung ;  and  the  citizens,  with  their 
^provost,  running  in  confused  crowds  to  the  side  of  the 
fosse,  demanded  admittance,  crying  out  that  they  must 
instantly  speak  with  my  lord  cardinal.  They  were  an- 
swered from  the  battlements  that  it  would  be  better  for 
them  to  disperse,  as  he  whom  they  called  for  could  not 
come  to  them,  and  would  not  trouble  the  world  any  longer. 
This,  however,  only  irritated  them  the  more,  and  being 
urgent  that  they  would  speak  with  him,  Norman  Lesley 
reproved  them  as  unreasonable  fools  who  desired  an 
audience  of  a  dead  man ;  and  dragging  the  body  to  the 
spot,  hung  it  by  a  sheet  over  the  wall,  naked,  ghastly,  and 


BEATON  115 

bleeding  from  its  recent  wounds.  '  There,'  saidj  he, 
■  there  is  your  God ;  and  now  ye  are  satisfied,  get  you 
home  to  your  houses:'  a  command  which  the  people 
instantly  obeyed.  Thus  perished  cardinal  David  Beaton, 
the  most  powerful  opponent  of  the  reformed  religion  in 
Scotland — by  an  act  which  some  authors,  even  in  the 
present  day,  have  scrupled  to  call  murder.  To  these 
writers,  the  secret  and  long-continued  correspondence  with 
England  was  unknown;  a  circumstance  perhaps  to  be 
regretted,  as  it  would  have  saved  some  idle  and  angry 
reasoning.  By  its  disclosure,  we  have  been  enabled  to 
trace  the  secret  history  of  those  iniquitous  times ;  and  it 
may  now  be  pronounced,  without  fear  of  contradiction, 
that  the  assassination  of  Beaton  was  no  sudden  event, 
arising  simply  out  of  indignation  for  the  fate  of  Wishart, 
but  an  act  of  long  projected  murder,  encouraged,  if  not 
originated,  by  the  English  monarch,  and,  so  far  as  the 
principal  conspirators  were  concerned,  committed  from 
private  and  mercenary  motives." 

It  is  lamentable  to  be  obliged  to  add  that  the  murderers 
of  Beaton  were  not  thought  the  worse  of  by  the  protest- 
ants,  for  the  part  they  had  taken  against  their  common 
enemy.  They  received  pensions  from  the  royal  reformers 
of  England,  Henry  VIII.  and  Edward  VI. ;  most  of  them 
rose  to  high  rank  in  the  army ;  John  Knox,  from  his 
"  merry  account"  of  the  transaction,  and  from  his  calling 
it  a  "godly  deed,"  evidently  approved  of  the  murder,  and 
was  probably  privy  to  it :  for  he  was  domestic  tutor  in  the 
family  of  the  laird  of  Langnidding,  one  of  Wishart 's 
protectors ;  he  was  the  intimate  friend  and  sword-bearer 
of  "the  martyr,"  and  subsequently  joined  the  conspirators 
in  the  castle  of  St.  Andrews.  Besides  this,  the  "  Diurnal 
of  occurrents  in  Scotland,"  expressly  states  that  John 
Knox  "  took  pairt  of  the  said  treason."  Again,  James 
Melville,  as  Knox  himself  tells  us,  "was  familiarly 
acquainted  with  George  Wishart,"  and  when  he  presented 
the  sword  to  the  cardinals  breast,  made  use  of  these  words, 


116  BEAUCAIRE. 

4<  remember  that  the  fatal  stroke  I  am  now  about  to  deal 
is  not  the  mercenary  blow  of  a  hired  assassin,  but  the  just 
vengeance  which  hath  fallen  on  an  obstinate,  cruel  enemy 
of  Christ  and  his  holy  gospel."  Alas,  that  the  name  of 
the  Son  of  God  should  thus  be  blasphemed  by  an  assassin, 
and  alas !  still  more,  that  in  the  act  of  murder,  the  deceitful 
and  desperately  wicked  heart  should  think  it  was  doing 
God  service.  But  even  Fox,  the  protestant  martyrologist, 
affirms  that  the  murderers  "  were  stirred  up  by  the  Lord  to 
murder  the  archbishop  in  his  bed  ;"  and  the  presbyterian 
historian,  Calderwood,  says,  "  the  cardinal  intended  fur- 
ther mischief,  if  the  Lord  had  not  stirred  up  some  men 
of  courage  to  cut  him  off  in  time."  All  this,  says  Mr  Lyon, 
from  whose  learned  dissertation  (appendix,  xlii.)  these 
particulars  are  taken,  "  all  this  shows  that  in  those  times 
it  was  not  unusual,  even  among  men  of  high  rank,  and 
professing  uncommon  piety,  to  do  evil  that  good  might 
come,  or  to  justify  others  in  doing  so." — Tytler.  Lyon. 
Spot  is  wood.    Keith.    Skinner. 

Beaucaire  de  Peguillon,  Francis,  was  born  April 
loth,  1514,  of  one  of  the  most  ancient  families  of  the 
Bourbonnois,  and  was  one  of  the  first  gentlemen  of  his 
nation  who  applied  himself  to  the  study  of  literature.  He 
was  chosen  by  Claude  de  Lorraine,  the  first  duke  of 
Guise,  to  be  preceptor  to  his  son,  cardinal  Charles  de 
Lorraine.  He  attended  the  cardinal  de  Lorraine  to  Rome, 
and  on  his  return  the  cardinal  procured  for  him  the 
bishopric  of  Metz.  It  wTas  reported  that  the  cardinal 
retained  the  revenues  of  the  see,  though  the  report  can 
only  be  traced  to  the  imagination  of  certain  calvinists  of 
Metz,  who  could  not  otherwise  account  for  the  cardinal's 
resignation.  The  calvinists  were  alarmed  on  his  arrival 
at  Metz ;  and  many  of  them,  to  escape  martyrdom,  fled 
from  the  town,  to  which  they  returned  on  finding  that  the 
zeal  of  the  new  prelate  merely  vented  itself  in  two  Latin 
tracts  on  "  Sanctification"  and  "  The  Baptism  of  Infants," 
which,  as  the  majority  could  not  understand  them,  the 


BEAUFORT.  117 

calvinist  leaders  pronounced  to  be  easily  refuted.  He  was 
taken  afterwards  by  the  cardinal  to  the  council  of  Trent, 
and  it  was  before  that  assembly  that  Beaucaire  delivered 
the  speech  which  is  to  be  found  in  his  history  of  his  own 
time.  At- the  council  of  Trent  a  misunderstanding  occurred 
between  the  cardinal  and  the  bishop  of  Metz,  the  latter 
having  given  offence  to  the  ultra-montane  members  of  the 
council,  by  declaring  that  bishops  received  their  authority 
immediately  from  God,  and  that  they  were  not  merely  the 
pope's  delegates,  and  that  the  pope's  power  is  not  un- 
limited. This  is  the  catholic  doctrine,  but  papists  and 
presbyterians  are,  as  regards  the  divine  right  of  episcopacy, 
of  one  mind.  He  resigned  his  bishopric  in  1568,  and 
retired  to  the  castle  of  Creste,  his  birth-place,  where  he 
spent  his  time  in  study  till  his  death.  He  composed  in 
his  retreat  a  history  of  his  own  time,  which  was  published 
in  1625,  under  the  title,  Rerum  Gallicarum  Commentaria, 
fol.  Lyon.  He  also  wrote  a  discourse  on  the  battle  of 
Dreux,  4to,  Brescia,  1563,  reprinted  more  than  once,  and 
a  treatise  De  Infantium  in  Matrum  Uteris  Sanctificatione, 
8vo,  Par.  1565,  1567.  The  latter  treatise  was  written  in 
opposition  to  the  tenets  of  the  calvinists,  who  hold  that 
the  children  of  the  faithful  are  sanctified  from  their 
mothers,  a  tenet  which  implies  the  denial  of  original  sin, 
and  of  the  necessity  of  infant  baptism.  He  died  February 
14th,  1591.— Moreri.   Boyle. 

Beaufoet,  Henry,  was  the  son  of  John  of  Gaunt, 
duke  of  Lancaster,  by  Catherine  Swinford :  his  character 
belongs  to  the  history  of  statesmen  rather  than  that  of 
divines.  He  studied  for  some  years  at  Oxford,  but  had 
his  education  chiefly  at  Aix  la  Chapelle,  where  he  applied 
himself  to  the  civil  and  common  law.  The  corruptions 
of  the  church  of  England  were  at  that  time  many  and 
great,  and  the  young  ecclesiastic  was  in  1397  elected 
bishop  of  Lincoln  in  the  room  of  John  Buckingham,  who 
was  unjustly  compelled  to  resign.  In  1399  he  became 
chancellor  of  Oxford  and  dean  of  Wells ;  in  1404  he  was 


118  BEAUFORT 

appointed  lord  high  chancellor,  and  the  following  year 
succeeded  the  celebrated  William  of  Wykeham,  in  the  see 
of  Winchester.  In  1417  he  went  to  the  Holy  Land,  and 
in  his  way  attended  the  council  of  Constance,  where  he 
exhorted  the  prelates  to  union  and  agreement  in  the 
election  of  a  pope  :  his  remonstrances  are  said  to  have 
contributed  not  a  little  to  the  preparations  for  the  conclave 
in  which  Martin  III.  was  elected.  He  was  ambitious  to 
become  a  cardinal,  an  office  always  unpopular  in  the 
church  of  England,  as  binding  the  holder  of  it  to  a  foreign 
church.  Henry  V.  opposed  any  such  appointment  as  long 
as  he  lived,  but  in  the  next  reign,  during  the  royal 
minority,  he  obtained  the  consent  of  the  duke  of  Bedford, 
the  regent.  He  received  the  cardinal's  hat  at  Calais,  in 
1426,  with  the  title  of  St  Eusebius.  On  his  return  to 
England  he  was  received  with  due  respect,  but  by  a 
proclamation  in  the  king's  name  was  prohibited  from 
exercising  his  legatine  power.  The  proclamation  is  as 
follows :  "  Whereas  the  most  Christian  king  Henry  VI, 
and  his  progenitors,  kings  before  him  of  this  realm  of 
England,  have  been  heretofore  possessed  time  out  of  mind, 
with  a  special  privilege  and -custom  used  and  observed  in 
this  realm,  from  time  to  time,  that  no  legate  from  the 
apostolic  see  shall  enter  this  land,  or  auy  of  the  king's 
dominions,  without  the  calling,  petition,  request,  invita- 
tion, or  desire  of  the  king;  and  forasmuch  as  Henry, 
bishop  of  Winchester,  and  cardinal  of  St  Eusebius,  hath 
presumed  to  enter  as  legate  from  the  pope,  being  neither 
called  nor  desired  by  the  king;  therefore  the  king,  by  his 
procurator,  Richard  Caudray,  doth  protest,  by  this  instru- 
ment, that  it  standeth  not  with  the  king's  mind  or  intent, 
by  the  advice  of  Iris  council,  to  admit,  approve,  or  ratify, 
the  coming  of  the  said  legate  in  any  wise,  in  derogation  of 
the  rights  and  customs  of  this  realm,  or  to  allow  and  assent 
to  any  exercise  of  his  legantine  power,  or  to  any  acts 
attempted  by  him,  contrary  to  the  said  laws."  Such  was 
the  determination  of  our  rulers,  to  maintain  the  liberty  of 
our  church,  when,  by  the  ambition  of  private  prelates,  it  was 


BEAUFORT.  119 

betrayed  to  the  pope,  even  as  in  later  years,  from  the  same 
cause,  it  has  been  brought  into  subjection  to  the  state. 

In  1429  he  was,  however,  appointed  the  pope's  legate 
in  Germany,  and  general  of  the  crusade  against  the 
Hussites,  or  heretics  of  Bohemia,  and  he  prevailed  on  the 
English  parliament  to  make  him  a  grant  of  money,  with 
permission  to  raise  a  force  of  250  spearmen  and  2500 
bowmen,  to  enable  him  to  conduct  the  expedition.  Even 
with  these  he  was  obliged  previously  to  serve  for  a  certain 
time  under  the  duke  of  Bedford  in  France.  He  conducted 
the  crusade  in  Bohemia  with  doubtful  success,  until  he 
was  recalled  by  the  pope,  and  cardinal  Julian  was  sent  in 
his  place,  with  a  larger  army. 

In  1430  he  crowned  Henry  VI.   at  Notre  Dame,    in 
Paris,  and  was  at  this  period  employed  in  various  diplo- 
matic affairs  in  France  and  Flanders,  but  finding  that  the 
duke  of  Gloucester  was  intriguing  against  him,  he  found 
it  necessary  to  return  to  England.     Among  other  articles 
of  impeachment,  which  had  been  exhibited  against  him 
by  Gloucester,  we  find  one  to  be,  that   "the  bishop  of 
Winchester  had  not  only  taken  upon  himself  the  dignity 
and  title  of  a  cardinal,  contrary  to  the  express  command 
of  king  Henry  V,   and  in  derogation  of  the  church  of 
Canterbury,  but  having  forfeited  his  bishopric  thereby,  by 
the  act  of  provisions,  he  had  procured  a  bull  from  the  pope 
to  secure  his  bishopric  to  him,  contrary  to  the  laws  of  the 
realm,  which  made  it  praemunire  to  do  so."     The  laws  of 
the  realm  protected  the  liberties  of  our  venerable  estab- 
lishment, which  were,  as  we  have  seen  before,  too  often 
betrayed  by  the  ambition  of  individual  prelates.      The 
cardinal,    however,    prevailed   over    his    opponents,    and 
obtained  letters  of  pardon  from  the  king,  for  all  offences 
by  him  committed,  contrary  to  the  statute  of  provisions, 
and  other  acts  of  praemunire.    Five  years  after  he  obtained 
another  pardon  under  the  great  seal,  for  all  sorts  of  crimes, 
from  the  creation  of  the  world  to  the  26th  of  July,  143T  ! 
This  looks  like  a  stretch  of  the  prerogative. 


120  BEAUFORT. 

The  history  of  the  cardinal  from  the  time  of  his  return 
to  England,  becomes  little  more  than  the  history  of  his 
struggle  with  the  duke  of  Gloucester,  who  died  suddenly 
at  Bury  St  Edmund's,  in  May,  1447.  The  cardinal 
survived  the  duke  of  Gloucester  not  above  a  month.  The 
public  feeling  was  in  favour  of  the  duke  and  against  the 
cardinal,  and  Shakespeare  has  perhaps  unjustly  depre- 
ciated the  cardinal,  in  order  to  elevate  the  character  of 
"  the  good  duke  Humphrey."  But  there  is  no  evidence  of 
his  having  been,  as  was  suspected,  the  contriver  of  the 
duke's  murder,  or  of  his  being  the  covetous  and  reprobate 
character  which  Shakespeare  has  represented.  On  the 
contrary,  we  find  that  when  Henry  V,  a  little  before  his 
death,  to  meet  the  debts  he  had  contracted  by  his  wars, 
cast  his  eyes  upon  the  wealth  of  the  Church,  and  was 
advised  to  supply  his  wants  out  of  the  spoils  thereof,  the 
bishop  of  Winchester,  to  avert  the  evil,  advanced  him  as 
a  loan,  twenty  thousand  pounds  out  of  his  own  pocket,  a 
prodigious  sum  in  those  days.  If  such  generosity  had 
existed  in  our  own  days,  the  confiscation  of  the  Irish 
bishoprics  and  of  the  cathedral  property,  might  have  been 
averted.  At  all  events,  if  he  amassed  great  sums,  the 
public,  not  a  private  family,  was  benefited.  He  employed 
his  wealth  in  finishing  the  magnificent  cathedral  of  Win- 
chester, which  was  left  incomplete  by  his  predecessor  ;  in 
repairing  Hyde  Abbey,  since  robbed  and  destroyed,  in  the 
same  city;  in  relieving  prisoners,  and  other  works  of 
charity.  But  as  Dr  Milner  remarks,  what  has  chiefly 
redeemed  the  character  of  cardinal  Beaufort  in  Winchester 
and  its  neighbourhood,  is  the  new  foundation  which  he 
made  of  the  celebrated  hospital  of  St  Cross.  For  the 
greater  part  of  the  present  building  was  raised  by  him, 
and  he  added  to  the  establishment  of  his  predecessor, 
Henry  de  Blois,  funds  for  the  support  of  thirty-five  more 
brethren,  two  chaplains,  and  three  women,  who  appear  to 
have  been  sisters  of  charity.  The  foundation  still  exists  ; 
but  exists  to  the  disgrace  of  our  Church.  It  would  be 
well  to  ascertain  how  the  funds  are  applied,  and  whether 


BEAUMONT.  121 

what  was  intended  for  charity,  shall  still  be  permitted 
only  to  enrich  a  master.  While  such  abuses  exist,  we 
may  not,  for  very  shame,  speak  of  idle  monks.  It  appears, 
also,  says  Dr  Milner,  that  Beaufort  prepared  himself  with 
resignation  and  contrition  for  his  last  end  ;  and  the  codicil 
of  his  will  being  signed  only  two  days  before  his  death, 
may  justly  bring  into  discredit  the  opinion  that  he  died  in 
despair.  He  directed  two  thousand  marks  to  be  distri- 
buted among  the  poorer  tenants  of  the  bishopric,  and 
forgave  the  rest  all  that  was  due  to  him  at  the  time  of  his 
death.  He  left  almost  to  every  cathedral  and  collegiate 
church  in  England  jewels  and  plate  of  considerable  value, 
particularly  to  the  church  of  Wells,  of  which  he  had  been 
dean,  283  ounces  of  gilt  plate,  and  £418  in  money.  It  is 
but  justice  to  record  this  of  one  who  had  suffered  himself 
to  be  too  much  involved  in  the  vortex  of  politics,  and  was 
often  a  prey  to  the  passions  to  which  politics  give  rise. 
— Godwin.  Milner's  Hist,  of  Winchester.  Gough's  Life  of 
Beaufort. 

Beaumont,  Lewis,  was  descended  from  the  blood  royal 
of  France  and  Sicily,  and  was  thus  related  to  queen 
Isabella,  consort  of  Edward  II.  He  was  made  treasurer 
of  Salisbury  in  the  year  1294,  and  was  advanced  to  the 
see  of  Durham  in  1317,  under  circumstances  which  re- 
flected great  disgrace  on  the  Church.  The  whole  proceed- 
ing is  one  of  those  many  instances  to  v>hich  we  have 
frequently  had  occasion  to  refer,  which  shews  how,  during 
the  middle  ages,  our  excellent  establishment  was  brought 
under  the  dominion  of  the  popes,  through  the  contests 
between  ambitious  ecclesiastics  and  unscrupulous  sove- 
reigns. "  There  were  several  candidates  for  the  vacant 
bishopric.  The  earl  of  Lancaster  made  interest  for  one 
John  de  Kynardsley,  promising,  in  case  of  his  election,  to 
defend  the  see  against  the  Scots.  The  earl  of  Hereford 
pushed  for  John  Walwayn,  a  civilian.  The  king,  who  was 
then  at  York,  would  have  promoted  the  election  of  Thomas 

VOL.  II.  l 


1-2-2  BEAUMONT. 

Charlton,  a  civilian,  and  keeper  of  his  privy  seal :  but  the 
queen  interposed  so  warmly  in  behalf  of  her  kinsman, 
Lewis  Beaumont,  that  the  king  was  prevailed  upon  to 
write  letters  to  the  monks  in  his  favour.  Those  religious, 
having  previously  obtained  the  king's  leave  to  proceed 
to  an  election,  rejected  all  these  applications,  and  made 
choice  of  Henry  de  Stamford,  prior  of  Finchale,  an  elderly 
man,  of  a  fair  character  and  pleasing  aspect,  and  a  good 
scholar.  The  king  would  have  consented  to  the  election, 
had  it  not  been  for  the  queen,  who  on  her  bare  knees 
humbly  intreated  him  that  her  kinsman  might  be  bishop 
of  Durham.  Whereupon  the  king  refused  to  admit  Henry 
de  Stamford,  and  wrote  to  the  pope  in  favour  of  Beaumont. 
At  the  same  time  the  monks  sent  the  bishop  elect  to  the 
pope's  court  for  his  holiness's  confirmation :  but,  before 
his  arrival,  the  pope,  at  the  instances  of  the  kings  and 
queens  of  France  and  England,  had  conferred  the  bishop- 
ric on  Beaumont.  And,  to  make  Henry  some  amends, 
his  holiness  gave  him  a  grant  of  the  priory  of  Durham 
upon  the  next  vacancy ;  but  he  did  not  live  to  enjoy  it." 
According  to  the  account  of  Godwin,  it  is  not  surprising 
that  even  so  unscrupulous  a  pope  as  John  XXII,  should 
hesitate  at  the  appointment.  Of  Beaumont  it  is  related 
by  Godwin  that  "  he  could  not  read  the  bulls  and  other 
instruments  of  his  consecration.  When  he  should  have 
pronounced  this  word  metropoliticm,  not  knowing  what 
to  make  of  it,  (though  he  had  studied  upon  it  and 
laboured  his  lesson  long  before)  after  a  little  pause,  Soyt 
purdit  (says  he)  let  it  go  for  read,  and  so  passed  it  over. 
In  like  sort  he  stumbled  at  In  an'ujmate.  When  he 
had  fumbled  about  it  a  while,  par  Saint  Lowys  (quoth  he) 
il  n  est  pas  curtois  qui  ceste  parolle  ici  escrit,  that  is,  by 
Saint  Lewes,  he  is  to  blame  that  writ  this  word  here.  Not 
without  great  cause,  therefore,  the  pope  was  somewhat 
straight  laced  in  admitting  him.  He  obtained  consecra- 
tion so  harshly,  as  in  fourteen  years  he  could  scarce  creep 
out  of  debt.     Biding  to  Durham  to  be  installed  there,  he 


BEAUMONT.  123 

was  robbed  (together  with  two  cardinals  that  were  then  in 
his  company)  upon  Wiglesden  moor  near  Darlington. 
The  captains  of  this  route  were  named  Gilbert  Middleton 
and  "Walter  Selby.  Not  content  to  take  all  the  treasure  of 
the  cardinals,  the  bishop,  and  their  train,  they  carried  the 
bishop  prisoner  to  Morpeth,  where  they  constrained  him 
to  pay  a  great  ransom.  Gilbert  Middleton  was  soon  after 
taken  at  his  own  castle  of  Mitford,  carried  to  London,  and 
there  drawn  and  hanged  in  the  presence  of  the  cardinals. 
After  this,  one  sir  Gosceline  Deinuill,  and  his  brother 
Robert,  came  with  a  great  company  to  divers  of  the  bishop 
of  Durham's  houses  in  the  habits  of  friars,  and  spoiled 
them,  leaving  nothing  but  bare  walls,  and  did  many  other 
notable  robberies,  for  which  they  were  soon  after  hanged 
at  York.  This  bishop  stood  very  stoutly  in  defence  of 
the  liberties  of  his  see,  recovered  divers  lands  taken 
away  from  Anthony  Beake,  his  predecessor,  and  procured 
his  sentence  to  be  given  in  the  behalf  of  his  church, 
Quod  episcopus  Dunelmensis,  debet  habere  forisfacturas 
guerrarum  intra  libertates,  sicut  Bex  extra,  that  the 
bishop  of  Durham  is  to  have  the  forfeitures  of  war  in 
as  ample  sort  within  his  own  liberties  as  the  king  without. 
He  compassed  the  city  of  Durham  with  a  wall,  and  built 
a  hall,  kitchen,  and  chapel  at  Middleton." 

This  bishop  had  a  dispute  with  the  archbishop  of  York, 
his  metropolitan,  concerning  the  right  of  visitation  in  the 
jurisdiction  of  Allerton ;  and  whenever  the  archbishop 
came  to  visit,  the  bishop  of  Durham  always  opposed  him 
with  an  armed  force. 

With  reference  to  the  decision  of  the  judges  alluded  to 
in  the  quotation  from  Godwin,  the  learned  editor  of 
Camden's  Britannia  tells  us  that  "  the  bishop  of  Durham 
antiently  had  his  thanes,  and  afterwards  his  barons,  who 
held  of  him  by  knights  service ;  and  that,  on  occasions  of 
danger,  he  called  them  together  in  the  nature  of  a  parlia- 
ment, to  advise  and  assist  him  with  their  persons,  depend- 
ants, and  money,  for  the  public  service,  either  at  home 
or  abroad.     When  men  and  money  were  to  be  levied,  it 


124  BEAUMONT. 

was  done  by  writs  issued  in  the  bishop's  name  out  of  the 
chancery  of  Durham ;  and  he  had  power  to  raise  able  men 
from  sixteen  to  sixty  years  of  age,  and  to  arm  and  equip 
them  for  his  service.  He  often  headed  his  troops  in 
person ;  and  the  officers  acted  under  his  commission,  and 
were  accountable  to  him  for  their  duty.  He  had  a  dis- 
cretionary power  of  marching  out  against  the  Scots,  or  of 
making  a  truce  with  them.  No  person  of  the  palatinate 
could  build  a  castle,  or  fortify  his  manor  house,  without 
the  bishop's  license.  And  as  he  had  military  power  by 
land,  so  he  had  likewise  by  sea.  Ships  of  war  were  fitted 
out  in  the  ports  of  the  county  palatine,  by  virtue  of  the 
bishop's  writs.  He  had  his  admiralty  courts ;  he  ap- 
pointed, by  his  patents,  a  vice-admiral,  register,  and 
marshal  or  water  bailiff,  and  had  all  the  privileges,  for- 
feitures, and  profits,  incident  to  that  jurisdiction." 

Beaumont  died  at  Brentingham,  in  the  diocese  of  York, 
September  -24th,  1333,  leaving  the  character  behind  him 
of  a  worthless,  avaricious,  and  prodigal  prelate. — Godwin. 
Wharton.    Camden. 

Beaumont,  Joseph,  was  born  at  Hadleigh,  in  Suffolk, 
in  1615.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  he  went  to  Peter-house, 
Cambridge,  where  he  took  his  degrees,  and  obtained  a 
fellowship,  of  which  he  was  deprived  for  his  loyalty  in  the 
civil  war.  He  then  retired  to  his  native  place,  and  after- 
wards to  Tatingston,  with  his  wife,  who  was  step-daughter 
of  his  patron,  Dr  Wren,  bishop  of  Ely.  At  the  restoration 
he  recovered  his  preferments,  was  made  chaplain  in 
ordinary  to  the  king,  aud  obtained  the  degree  of  doctor  in 
divinity  by  mandamus.  In  1663  he  was  appointed  master 
of  Jesus  college,  from  whence,  the  year  following,  he  removed 
to  Peter-house  ;  with  which  headship  he  held  the  chair  of 
divinity.  He  was  a  man  of  delicate  constitution,  as 
appears  from  his  having  been  obliged  to  obtain  from  the 
vice-chancellor  of  Cambridge  a  dispensation  to  eat  meat 
in  Lent,  because  fish  did  not  agree  with  him.  This  fact 
shews  that  Church  discipline  was  at  that  time  observed  in 


BECCOLD.  12* 

the  university.  He  died  in  1699.  His  works  are — 1. 
Psyche,  a  poem,  folio,  1648  ;  and  again  with  additions, 
in  1702.  2.  Poems  in  English  and  Latin,  with  remarks 
on  the  Epistle  to  the  Colossians,  4to.,  1749. — Jacob's 
Lives  of  the  Poets. 

Beausobre,  Isaac,  was  bom  at  Xiort,  in  upper  Poitou, 
in  1659.  He  studied  at  Saumur,  after  which  he  was 
ordained,  but  his  congregation  being  dissolved  by  the 
revocation  of  the  edict  of  Nantes  he  retired  to  Holland, 
where  he  became  chaplain  to  the  princess  of  Anhalt 
Dessau.  His  first  work  was  an  attack  upon  the  Lutherans, 
and  was  entitled,  Defence  de  la  doctrine  des  Reformes,  in 
which  he  endeavoured  to  shew  that  Calvinism  was  quite 
as  respectable  in  its  origin  as  Lutheranism.  He  speaks 
strongly  against  the  bigotry  of  the  Lutherans,  for  con- 
demning all  who  do  not  interpret  the  Bible  in  the  sense  of 
Luther.  In  1694  he  removed  to  Berlin,  where  he  spent  the 
remainder  of  his  life,  and  exercised  his  ministry  as  one  of 
the  pastors  of  the  French  Calvinists}  and  also  as  chaplain 
to  their  majesties.  He  was  besides  councellor  of  the  royal 
consistory,  inspector  of  the  French  college,  and  of  ail  the 
French  calvinistic  churches.  He  assisted  Lenfant  to  pre- 
pare a  translation  of  the  Xew  Testament ;  the  Apocalypse 
and  the  Epistles  of  St  Paul  were  allotted  to  Beausobre. 
The  notes  are  said  to  have  a  Socinian  tendency ;  Calvin- 
ism, when  becoming  liberal,  having  always  a  tendency  in 
that  direction.  He  fell  in  love  with  a  young  girl,  when 
he  was  seventy  years  of  age,  and  either  seduced  her  or 
suffered  himself  to  be  seduced  by  her.  The  familiarity 
was  soon  apparent  from  her  pregnancy,  and  a  marriage 
followed.  The  Calvinists  prevented  his  preaching  for  four 
or  five  years,  and  he  employed  his  leisure  in  writing  a 
history  of  Manicheism.  He  died  in  1738.  Chauffepie's 
Diet.  Hist.. 

Beccold,  (alias  Bockhold,  or  Bockelson,)  John.    This 
l  a 


130  BECOOLD. 

leader  of  the  anabaptists  was  born  at  Leyden,  (and  hence 
he  is  called  John  of  Leyden,)  and  is  chiefly  distinguished 
by  the  part  he  took  in  the  commotions  excited  at  Munster, 
in  1533,  by  the  Dutch  anabaptists,  who,  says  Mosheim, 
"  chose  that  city  as  the  scene  of  their  horrid  operations." 
The  progress  of  protestantism  had  been  such,  that  the 
senate  of  the  city  of  Munster  had  driven  away  the  bishop 
and  his  clergy,  and  supplied  their  places  in  1532  with 
protestant  ministers.  The  bishop  had,  in  consequence, 
besieged  the  city,  but  eventually  entered  into  a  treaty 
with  the  inhabitants,  by  which  it  was  agreed  that  catholics 
and  protestants  should  live  peaceably  together,  that  the 
former  should  retain  possession  of  the  cathedral,  but  that 
six  churches  should  be  appropriated  to  the  protestants. 
The  treaty  was  signed  on  the  14th  of  February,  1533  ; 
and  such  was  the  condition  of  the  city,  when  John 
Beccold,  accompanied  by  John  Mathias  and  Gerhard, 
another  anabaptist,  appeared  there  in  the  November 
following.  Beccold's  knowledge  of  Scripture  was  sur- 
prising, and  no  one  could  surpass  him  in  the  fluency  with 
which  he  could  quote  it,  and  justify  by  scriptural  authority 
all  his  proceedings.  He  entered  the  city  determined  to 
stand  by  the  Bible  only,  and  to  maintain,  against  both 
Catholics  and  Lutherans,  the  right  of  private  judgment. 

When  Beccold  had  prepared  a  party,  Mathias,  the 
original  leader,  appeared  suddenly  among  them,  and, 
blowing  on  them,  said,  "  Receive  ye  the  Holy  Ghost." 
They  were  all  of  them  excited  to  the  highest  pitch  of 
fanaticism,  believing  now  that  they  had  received  a  com- 
mission from  on  high.  Rothman,  who  had  introduced 
the  reformation  into  the  city,  at  first  opposed  them,  but 
afterwards  joined  the  party,  and  such  was  its  progress  that 
the  anabaptists  soon  outnumbered  the  Lutherans.  They 
met  at  night,  and  converts  were  still  crowding  around  the 
anabaptist  teachers,  not  only  in  the  churches  but  in  the 
streets  and  the  market-place.  The  magistrates  in  alarm 
commanded  the  leaders  to  quit  the  town ;  they  went,  but 


BECCOLD.  127 

almost  immediately  returned,  declaring  that  God  had 
ordered  them  to  remain  in  the  town,  and  to  labour  con- 
stantly to  settle  their  doctrine  there.  In  vain  did  the 
magistrates  invite  the  anabaptists  to  a  conference,  they 
would  not  submit  to  any  reasonable  terms  :  Ruthus,  one 
of  the  chief  of  their  preachers,  on  the  contrary,  pretending, 
or  supposing  himself  to  act  under  divine  inspiration,  ran 
through  the  city,  in  December,  1533,  crying  out  ''Repent, 
and  be  baptized  again,  or  else  the  wrath  of  God  will  fall 
upon  you,  for  the  day  of  the  Lord  is  at  hand."  He 
preached  with  wonderful  success,  and  the  re-baptized 
assumed  the  title  of  saints.  Peasants  from  different  parts 
of  Westphalia  crowded  to  the  town,  regarding  the  ana- 
baptist doctrine  as  the  perfection  of  protestantism.  The 
multitude  took  arms,  and  seizing  the  senate  house,  cried 
out,  that  "  they  ought  to  massacre  all  who  were  not 
re-baptized."  The  magistrates  endeavoured  to  negociate, 
but  the  anabaptists  could  not  be  bound  by  treaties,  and 
the  magistrates  and  chief  inhabitants  fled,  leaviDg  the 
town  to  the  anabaptists.  They  elected  a  new  senate  and 
new  magistrates,  and,  raising  through  the  city  the  cry, 
"Repent,  or  depart  this  place,  ye  wicked,"  they  drove  away 
all  who  were  not  of  their  religion.  John  Mathias  was  now 
the  chief  authority,  and  Beccold,  or  John  of  Leyden,  was 
his  lieutenant.  The  houses  were  plundered,  and  Mathias 
commanded  all  the  inhabitants,  on  pain  of  death,  to  bring 
forth  all  their  gold  and  silver,  into  the  public  treasury, 
and  to  burn  all  their  books  but  the  Bible.  He  declared 
that  the  bible  only  should  be  the  law  in  his  new  kingdom. 
The  bishop,  assisted  by  the  elector  of  Cologne  and  the 
duke  of  Treves,  besieged  the  city,  but  was  driven  back, 
the  defenders  being  some  thousands  in  number,  all  ani- 
mated by  the  most  wild  enthusiasm,  and  a  full  conviction 
that  they,  and  they  only,  were  the  saints.  But  they 
sustained  a  loss  in  the  death  of  their  leader  Mathias, 
during  a  sortie  from  the  walls ;  a  loss,  however,  which 
did  not  damp  their  courage,  as  Beccold  was  forthwith 
raised  to  his  place,  and  by  his  powerful  eloquence,  soon 


128  BECCOLD. 

had  them  under  his  control.  He  had.  as  was  believed, 
many  revelations,  and  was  regarded  as  a  prophet ;  one  of 
the  tenets  of  the  sect  being,  that  every  impulse  from 
within  was  a  movement  of  the  Divine  Spirit.  Under  the 
direction  of  a  divine  revelation,  as  he  now  pretended,  after 
three  days  silence,  he  changed  the  form  of  government, 
and  appointed  twelve  magistrates  instead  of  the  former 
senate  ;  but  the  rule  of  the  magistrates,  though  his  own 
creatures,  did  not  continue  long,  for  the  people,  who  had 
been  taught  that  in  the  kingdom  of  grace  all  were  equal, 
and  that  authority,  whether  civil  or  ecclesiastical,  was 
a  tyranny,  were  astonished  one  day  at  being  informed  that 
the  new  Israel  must  henceforth  be  ruled  by  a  king,  and 
that  as  the  Lord  had  raised  up  Saul,  so  had  he  raised  up 
John  of  Leyden  to  rule  his  chosen  people.  It  was  per- 
plexing, but  the  people  could  have  no  doubt  about  the 
revelation,  for  to  one  Tuscoschierer  the  same  revelation 
was  also  made,  and  the  two  witnesses  were  of  course 
received.  BeccolJ  had  now  passed  through  fanaticism  to 
hypocrisy,  and  from  licentiousness  of  intellect  to  licen- 
tiousness of  conduct.  Still  maintaining  that  he  had  the 
authority  of  Scripture  for  all  he  did,  he  determined  to 
use,  and  to  permit  others  to  use,  the  liberty  which,  as  he 
blasphemously  asserted,  Christ  had  granted  to  his  saints. 
He  married  eleven  wives,  and  polygamy  was  allowed  as 
not  contrary  to  God's  Word :  he  proved  the  fact  to  the 
satisfaction  of  the  people  from  the  Old  Testament ;  and 
when  a  simple  man  suggested  that  it  was  less  easy  to 
substantiate  the  new  law  by  the  authority  of  the  Xew 
Testament,  he  was  put  to  death.  And  now,  indeed,  blood 
freely  flowed,  for  as  Beccold  derived  his  authority  from 
(lod,  a  word  or  look  which  was  offensive  to  him,  rendered 
the  offender  worthy  of  death.  Sitting  in  the  market  place 
as  judge,  he  decided  every  case  according  to  his  own 
caprice,  pretending  for  each  decision  a  revelation  from 
heaven.  If  a  poor  woman,  not  quite  convinced  of  the 
lawfulness  of  polygamy,  complained  that  her  husband  had 
taken  another  wife ;   or  if  another  concealed   any  portion 


BECCOLD.  log 

of  those  treasures  which  ought  to  have  been  sent  to  the 
common  treasury ;  or  if  a  wife  was  accused  by  her  husband 
of  disobedience — they  were  sent  at  once  to  the  block,  where 
hundreds  suffered  for  offences  such  as  these.  Arrayed  in 
splendid  robes,  with  a  crown  on  his  head  and  a  sceptre  in 
his  hand,  the  quondam  tailor  of  Leyden  sat  on  the  judg- 
ment seat,  protected  by  troops,  and  surrounded  by  coun- 
sellors clad  in  purple. 

While  Munster  was  besieged,  the  anabaptists  published 
a  book,  "  The  Restitution,"  in  which  they  promised  to  the 
elect  a  kingdom  hereafter  with  Christ,  to  be  on  earth, 
before  the  day  of  judgment,  and  after  the  destruction  of 
the  ungodly.  They  taught  that  the  people  had  a  right  to 
depose  magistrates,  to  assume  civil  authority,  and  to 
establish  by  force  of  arms  a  new  form  of  government ;  that 
no  man  is  to  be  tolerated  in  the  Church  who  is  not  a  true 
Christian ;  that  none  can  be  saved  who  retain  any  private 
property;  that  the  pope  and  Luther  were  two  false 
prophets,  and  (which,  considering  that  they  dated  the 
origin  of  their  principles  to  him,  was  the  severest  blow,) 
that  Luther  was  the  worst  of  the  two  ;  that  the  marriages 
of  those  who  were  not  of  the  number  of  the  truly  faithful, 
were  impure  and  so  many  adulteries  :  these  they  taught, 
with  many  other  absurdities  and  abominations. 

The  anabaptists  of  Munster  sent  forth  missionaries  to 
preach  this  doctrine,  and  their  success  was  great,  while 
the  enthusiasm  with  which  they  endured  the  penalties 
they  incurred,  when  persecuted  in  the  different  towns 
in  which  they  preached,  as  persons  guilty  of  sedition,  was 
worthy  of  a  better  cause.  The  protestant  magistrates, 
though  they  had  encouraged  liberty  of  speech  on  religious 
subjects  to  a  certain  extent,  had  no  idea  of  tolerating  it  in 
its  extreme,  and  the  anabaptist  missionaries  were  soon 
seized,  examined,  and  executed.  But  before  they  died, 
they  did  their  friends  in  Munster  irreparable,  though  un- 
intended, injury :  through  them  it  was  discovered  that  the 
anabaptists  of  Munster  were  in  great  want  of  provisions 
and    ammunition,    and  the  seige   was   prosecuted   with 


130  BECKET. 

greater  vigour.  Beccold  meantime  was  not  inactive  :  he 
sent  two  of  his  prophets  into  Holland,  where  the  sect  was 
numerous,  to  procure  reinforcements  and  provisions  ;  but 
of  these  one  betrayed  him,  another  suffered  death,  and  a 
third  went  to  the  camp  of  the  beseigers  to  consult  on  the 
means  of  surrendering  the  city  where  famine  was  raging, 
and  many  had  become  disaffected. 

The  landgrave  of  Hesse,  in  the  mean  time,  had  caused 
their  book,  "The  Restitution,"  to  be  confuted;  and  Luther, 
who  perceived  how  this  outbreak  of  ultra-protestantism 
would  injure  his  cause,  and  strengthen  the  hands  of  the 
Catholics,  sent  to  the  anabaptists  of  Munster  "  a  sharp 
book,"  in  which  he  compares  them  to  Jews  and  Mahome- 
tans. Several  other  tracts  were  written  on  both  sides,  by 
protestants,  but  nothing  was  determined. 

At  length  the  diet  of  Worms  having  granted  fresh  sup- 
plies to  the  bishop  of  Munster  the  city  was  takerj,  and 
Beccold  himself  was  dragged  at  a  horse's  tail  from  the 
scene  of  his  royalty  to  a  dungeon  in  the  castle.  He  en- 
dured his  sufferings  and  died  with  wonderful  fortitude. 
The  city  was  taken  on  the  24th  of  June,  1535.  Very 
severe  regulations  were  made  against  the  anabaptists  at 
the  assembly  of  Hamburgh  ;  and  the  Lutherans,  uniting 
with  the  Catholics  in  their  opposition  to  this  sect,  it  was 

entirely   dispersed. Brand  :   Hist:    Reform.    Belgica. 

Dupin.     Mosheim. 

Becket,  Thomas  a,  was  born  in  London,  according  to 
Fleury,  in  HIT,  or,  according  to  Dupin,  in  1119.  His 
father  was  Gilbert,  one  of  the  principal  merchants  of 
London  ;  his  mother  was  Matilda,  a  Saracen,  with  whom 
his  father  had  become  acquainted,  when,  having  joined 
the  crusade,  he  had  been  made  a  prisoner  in  Palestine. 
She  was  a  convert  and  a  devoted  Christian,  who  paid 
much  attention  to  the  religious  training  of  her  son.  On 
the  death  of  his  mother,  he  was  placed  by  his  father  under 
the  care  of  the  canons  of  Merton,  and  afterwards  con- 
tinued his  studies  in  the  schools  of  the  metropolis,  of 


BECKET.  131 

Oxford,  and  of  Paris.  When  his  father  died,  he  was 
admitted  into  the  family  of  Theobald,  archbishop  of 
Canterbury,  and  conducted  himself  so  well,  that  he 
easily  obtained  permission  of  his  patron  to  leave  England, 
that  he  might  improve  himself  in  the  knowledge  of  the 
civil  and  canon  law.  He  studied  at  Bologna,  and  at 
Auxerre,  having,  in  the  first  named  university,  Gratian 
for  his  instructor.  On  his  return  to  England,  he  found 
some  difficulty  in  maintaining  his  position  in  the  arch- 
bishop's household,  as  Roger  de  Ponte  Episcopi  (Bishop 's- 
bridge)  a  learned  man,  who  was  successively  archdeacon 
of  Canterbury  and  archbishop  of  York,  had  established  an 
influence  there,  which  was  exerted  against  Becket,  whose 
genius,  however,  surmounted  every  obstacle.  Having 
received  as  his  first  preferment  the  church  of  Branfield, 
he  soon  after  obtained  prebends  in  the  churches  of 
Lincoln  and  St  Paul's ;  he  was  collated  also  to  the 
provostship  of  Beverley,  and  on  the  elevation  of  Pioger  to 
the  see  of  York,  he  succeeded  him  in  the  archdeaconry  of 
Canterbury,  a  preferment  equal  at  that  time  to  a  bishopric 
in  point  of  emolument,  and  scarcely  inferior  in  the  rank 
and  influence  it  conferred  upon  its  possessor.  Becket  was 
at  this  time  only  in  deacon's  orders ;  but  no  law  at  that 
time  existed  to  prevent  deacons  from  holding  such  high 
offices  in  our  venerable  establishment,  the  duty  of  a 
prebendary  and  of  an  archdeacon  being  rather  to  see  that 
the  services  of  the  church  are  duly  performed,  than  to 
conduct  them :  it  is  the  office  of  superintendent,  who  is 
to  report  irregularities    to  the  bishop. 

On  the  removal  of  Pioger  from  the  archbishop's 
Jiousehold,  Becket  became,  young  as  he  was,  the  con- 
fidential adviser  of  that  prelate,  and  to  his  influence 
the  public  attributed  the  firm  adhesion  of  Theobald  to 
the  cause  of  Matilda  and  Henry.  This,  doubtless,  inclined 
Henry,  when  he  ascended  the  throne,  in  1154,  to  listen  to 
the  archbishop  the  more  readily,  when  he  recommended 
Becket  to  his  notice ;  and  the  splendid  genius,  together 
with  the  courtly  manners  of  the  archdeacon,   soon  con- 


132  BECKET. 

ciliated  the  royal  friendship.  Becket  was  raised  to  the 
high  dignity  of  chancellor,  and  was  admitted  to  the  fullest 
confidence  of  the  king,  who  felt  for  him  as  a  personal 
friend.  In  a  subordinate  situation  Becket  always  identified 
his  own  interests  with  that  of  his  patrou,  and  devoted 
himself  to  his  service,  and  the  affection  he  evinced  to  his 
employer  was  returned  to  himself.  This  disposition  is 
often  found  to  exist  in  those  who,  when  removed  from  a 
subordinate  situation,  are  sturdy  maintainers  of  their  own 
privileges,  and  expect  from  others  the  homage  they  have 
themselves  been  accustomed  to  pay. 

The  chancellor  was  appointed  preceptor  to  the  young 
prince  and  warden  of  the  tower  of  London ;  he  received 
the  custody  of  the  castle  of  Berkhampstead,  and  the  honor 
of  Eye  with  the  services  of  one  hundred  and  forty  knights. 
The  pride  of  Henry  was  gratified  with  the  ascendancy  of 
his  favourite,  with  whom  he  lived  on  terms  of  familiarity ; 
and  the  chancellor,  who  is  described  as  remarkably  hand- 
some, tall,  but  somewhat  slight,  and  of  a  florid  complexion, 
adorned  the  court  as  well  by  the  elegance  of  his  deportment 
as  by  the  splendour  of  his  talents.  His  equipage  displayed 
the  magnificence  of  a  prince,  and  his  table  was  open  to 
every  person  who  had  business  at  court;  a  thousand 
knights  were  among  his  vassals,  and  every  detail  of  his 
establishment  indicated  at  once  his  splendour  and  good 
taste.  He  virtually  governed  the  kingdom  through  the 
king.  To  him  has  been  attributed  every  useful  measure 
which  distinguished  the  commencement  of  Henry's  reign ; 
he  banished  the  foreign  banditti  with  whom  Stephen  had 
filled  the  land,  he  caused  the  ecclesiastical  patronage  to  be 
honestly  and  judiciously  exercised,  without  simony;  and  in 
the  foreign  department,  by  his  successful  negociations  with 
the  French  king,  he  obtained  for  his  master  the  cession  of 
Gisors  and  five  other  important  places.  Various  other 
important  services  he  rendered  to  Henry  and  his  country, 
for  an  account  of  which  the  reader  is  referred  to  the 
history  of  England.  But  one  anecdote  may  here  be  men- 
tioned, to  shew  the  skill  and  tact  with  which  he  managed 


BECKET.  132 

the  impetuous  temper  of  Henry.  The  bishop  of  Le  Mans 
had  given  offence  to  the  king  by  accepting  Alexander  III 
as  pope  without  permission.  The  king  in  his  rage  ordered 
the  bishop's  house  to  be  destroyed,  and  couriers  for  that 
purpose  were  dispatched,  but  before  their  departure  the 
chancellor  directed  them  to  be  four  days  on  the  road, 
though  the  ordinary  rate  of  travelling  w^ould  have  brought 
them  to  Le  Mans  in  two.  The  next  day,  and  the  day 
after,  he  set  the  bishops  and  others  to  importune  the 
king,  and  the  third  day  he  joined  them  himself;  the  king, 
supposing  by  this  time  that  the  episcopal  palace  must 
have  been  nearly  destroyed-,  at  last  yielded  to  their  entrea- 
ties, and  the  chancellor  got  him  to  sign  letters  to  that 
effect,  and  sent  them  off  by  a  private  messenger,  who  rode 
night  and  day,  and  arrived  just  after  the  king's  courier,  in 
time  to  save  the  palace. 

Becket  wTas  aware  that  he  could  not  hope  to  influence 
the  king  and  his  warlike  nobles,  unless  he  proved  him- 
self to  be  as  brave  in  the  field  as  he  was  wise  in 
council.  We  hear,  at  the  present  time,  of  dignitaries 
in  the  Church  who  are  seen  to  partake  of  the  fashion- 
able amusements  of  a  London  life,  and  wTho  justify 
themselves,  and  are  justified  by  others,  though  censured 
by  those  whom  they  call  "righteous  overmuch,"  on  the 
ground  that  by  sharing  in  the  amusements  of  the  great 
and  wealthy,  they  exercise  a  useful  control  over  society. 
The  apology  is  sufficient  so  far  as  it  goes,  that  is,  so  far  as 
this,  and  not  his  own  amusement,  is  the  real  object  of  the 
individual  so  acting.  But  if  the  apology  is  sufficient  for 
the  prelate  in  this  day,  wTho  attends  or  presides  at  the 
splendid  and  fashionable  banquet,  it  is  an  apology  which 
must  be  admitted  in  the  case  of  the  deacon  Becket, 
when,  with  the  same  object  in  view,  he  placed  himself  at 
the  head  of  700  knights,  and  attended  Henry  in  1159, 
in  the  prosecution  of  his  claims  to  Toulouse  in  the  right 
of  Eleanor,  his  queen :  here  he  acted  the  part,  not  only 
of  an  able  military  commander,  but  also  of  an  accomplished 

VOL.  II.  M 


134  BECKET. 

man-at-arms  ;  for  on  one  occasion  he  tilted  with  a  French 
knight,  whose  horse  he  bore  off  as  an  honourable  proof  of 
his  victory.  On  the  same  principle  he  became  a  judge  of 
hawks  and  horses,  and  he  must  be  pardoned,  if,  when  he 
became  a  soldier  and  a  sportsman,  he  occasionally  entered 
too  keenly  into  the  chase,  and  forgot  his  ecclesiastical 
position  in  the  enthusiasm  of  a  warrior.  He  could  be 
nothing  by  halves. 

That  Becket  thus  acted  is  true,  and  it  is  true  that  by  so 
doing  he  shocked,  and  justly,  the  feelings  of  the  more 
religious  among  his  contemporaries  ;  but  that  in  throwing 
himself  thus  into  the  court  and  camp  he  acted,  whether 
mistakingly  or  not,  on  the  principle  just  adverted  to,  is 
apparent,  from  the  fact  that  though  he  appeared  to  others 
to  have  forgotten  his  ecclesiastical  character,  it  was  never 
forgotten  by  himself.  That  his  conduct  had  always  defied 
the  reproach  of  immorality,  when  living  even  in  the 
atmosphere  of  an  immoral  court,  and  in  intimacy  with  a 
king  who  attempted  to  corrupt  him,  was  confidently 
asserted  by  his  friends,  and,  as  has  been  well  observed,  is 
equivalently  acknowledged  by  the  silence  of  his  enemies. 
In  private  he  resorted  to  the  modes  of  self-discipline  then 
customary:  the  chancellor  was  at  one  time  discovered 
sleeping  not  on  his  bed,  but  on  the  bare  boards  exposed 
to  the  cold;  and,  according  to  Fitz-Stephen,  "in  the  midst 
of  his  secular  greatness  and  splendour,  he  used  often  to 
receive  on  his  naked  back  the  secret  discipline  of  the 
scourge."  By  the  same  contemporary  historian  we  are 
told,*  that  "amidst  all  the  luxury  of  the  court  he  preserved 
such  perfect  moderation  that  his  rich  table  ever  supplied 
a  rich  alms.  I  have  heard  from  Robert,  his  confessor,  the 
venerable  canon  of  Merton,  that  while  chancellor  he  never 
let  luxury  pollute  him,  though  the  king  put  snares  in  his 
way  day  and  night."  The  indignation  which  he  shewed 
at  an  act  of  profligacy  in  one  of  his  suite  is  sufficient  to 
shew  that  he  feared  no  retaliation. 

The  splendour  of  his  equipage  may  be  accounted  for 


BECKET.  135 

as  a  necessary  act  of  policy  in  that  age,  when  external 
circumstances  had  much  more  weight  than  at  present; 
although  even  now  simplicity  in  the  great  is  considered 
mean  and  offensive  by  vulgar  minds.  The  effect  which 
he  intended  to  produce  by  his  outward  splendour  may  be 
gathered  from  the  effect  which  upon  one  occasion  it  did 
produce.  When  he  was  sent  by  Henry  to  the  court  of 
France,  to  negociate  with  Louis,  who  had  threatened  to 
oppose  the  pretensions  of  the  king  to  the  earldom  of 
Nantes,  Becket,  we  are  told,  not  only  succeeded  in  his 
mission,  but  excited,  by  his  magnificence  and  bearing,  so 
much  admiration,  that  the  people  exclaimed,  "  What 
manner  of  man  must  the  king  of  England  be,  when  his 
chancellor  travels  in  such  state.*'  When  such  was  the 
impression  made  by  external  magnificence,  we  must  admit 
the  wisdom  and  the  sound  policy  of  its  assumption  on  the 
part  of  the  chancellor. 

Such  was  Thomas  a  Becket,  lord  high  chancellor  of 
England,  a  man  endeavouring  to  serve  two  masters ;  or, 
perhaps,  seeking  to  do  his  duty  to  the  Church,  in  a  secular 
employment,  and  thinking  to  advance  the  cause  of  God, 
not  by  simplicity  of  conduct  and  prayer,  but  by  the  arts  of 
the  politician.  But  the  chancellor  was  soon  to  attain  a 
higher  office,  and  with  it  to  present  to  the  eye  of  the  world 
an  altered  character.  His  first  patron,  Theobald,  died, 
and  the  see  of  Canterbury  became  vacant.  For  thirteen 
months  the  politic  Henry  kept  the  see  vacant,  that  the 
revenues  might  be  paid  into  his  exchequer.  At  the  end 
of  that  time,  when  he  could  no  longer  with  decency 
appropriate  the  revenues  of  the  see,  he  sent  for  the  chan- 
cellor at  Falaise,  and  bade  him  prepare  for  a  voyage  to 
England,  adding,  that  within  a  few  days  he  would  be 
archbishop  of  Canterbury.  Henry  had  mistaken  Becket's 
character.  He  regarded  him  as  a  mere  worldling,  who, 
provided  his  selfish  interests  were  secured,  would  bind  the 
English  church  to  the  will  of  the  monarch.  He  had  seen 
how  the  chancellor  had  controlled  the  lay  nobility,  and  he 
expected  him  to  exercise  the  same  control  over  the  Church 


136  BECKET. 

of  England,  and  to  render  it  subservient  to  his  purposes. 
But,  as  we  have  seen,  Becket  was  of  that  high  class  of 
mind,  which,  identifying  itself  with  a  cause,  without 
rejecting  the  incidental  advantages  which  niay  accrue  to 
it,  would  willingly  for  that  cause  sacrifice  self  and  every 
selfish  interest.  He  knew  himself  and  Henry,  and  he 
forewarned  the  king  of  what  would  be  the  consequence  of 
his  accepting  the  present  offer  ;  of  the  offence  likely  to  be 
taken  at  the  sudden  elevation  of  one  who  had  lived  neither 
as  a  self-denying  monk  nor  as  a  hard-working  parish 
priest,  but  as  a  worldly-minded  archdeacon,  in  a  court  not 
proverbial  for  its  strictness.  Pointing  to  his  dress,  he 
remarked  with  a  smile,  that  he  had  not  much  the  appear- 
ance of  an  archbishop ;  and  with  that  tenderness,  which, 
notwithstanding  the  vehemence  of  his  temper  when  pro- 
voked, was  characteristic  of  his  disposition,  he  alluded  to 
the  almost  inevitable  disruption  of  the  friendship  between 
himself  and  his  royal  master.  As  chancellor  he  might 
influence  the  royal  mind  to  good,  when  measures  against 
the  Church  were  designed ;  it  would  be  his  duty  to 
remonstrate,  not  to  oppose  him ;  but  as  archbishop  he 
would  have,  he  foresaw,  openly  to  oppose  one  who  could 
brook  no  opposition.  "  I  know  of  a  surety,"  he  said, 
according  to  the  statement  of  Hubert  de  Bascham,  "  that 
if  by  God's  providence  this  should  happen,  you  will  soon 
take  your  heart  from  me,  and  the  friendship  which  is  now 
so  strong  between  us,  will  be  converted  into  the  most 
furious  hatred.  I  am  aware  that  you  are  going  to  proceed 
to  some  exactions,  and  that  you  already  invade  the  Church's 
rights  in  a  manner  I  cannot  tolerate ;  and  thus  envious 
persons  will  go  between  us,  and  extinguish  our  attach- 
ment." From  this  it  seems  probable  that  he  had  already 
restrained  the  king  in  his  designs  against  the  Church, 
although,  it  may  be,  he  did  not  always  succeed  in  his 
attempt  to  do  so. 

Thomas  a  Becket  at  last  acquiesced,  contrary  to  his 
own  judgment ;  the  entreaties  of  cardinal  Henry  of  Pisa, 
being  added  to  the  commands  of  the  king,  he  sailed  for 


BECKET.  -137 

England.  He  was  elected  by  the  prelates,  and  a  deputa- 
tion of  the  chapter  of  Canterbury,  assembled  at  West- 
minster ;  every  vote  was  given  in  his  favour ;  the  applause 
of  the  nobility  testified  their  satisfaction,  and  prince 
Henry,  in  the  name  of  his  father,  gave  the  royal  assent. 
He  was  ordained  priest  on  Trinity  Sunday,  1162,  by  the 
bishop  of  Rochester,  and  on  the  following  day  was  con- 
secrated by  Henry,  bishop  of  Winchester,  assisted  by 
thirteen  of  his  episcopal  brethren.  Gilbert  Foliot  alone, 
then  bishop  of  Hereford,  and  afterwards  bishop  of  London, 
jeeringly  observed,  that  the  king  had  at  last  wrought  a 
miracle,  for  he  had  changed  a  soldier  into  a  priest,  a 
layman  into  an  archbishop.  The  advocates  of  Becket 
have  regarded  this  as  the  sarcasm  of  disappointed  ambi- 
tion ;  but  Foliot  was  a  man  of  rigid  morals,  a  devoted, 
laborious,  and  learned  clergyman  ;  and  therefore,  without 
any  ambition,  he  might  fairly  express  his  disgust  at  seeing 
a  mere  man  of  the  world,  without  one  religious  or  profes- 
sional recommendation,  as  Becket,  at  all  events,  appeared 
to  be,  elevated  to  a  post  of  the  most  sacred  importance, 
by  worldly  influence,  and  amidst  the  world's  applause. 
Foliot  never  appreciated  properly  the  character  of  Becket, 
and  he  retained  his  early  and  natural  prejudices  against 
him  to  the  last ;  but  by  his  contemporaries  Foliot  was 
regarded  as  the  holier  man  of  the  two. 

The  good  taste  of  Becket,  to  say  nothing  of  his  religious 
feelings,  suggested  an  alteration  in  his  establishment, 
wrhen  he  removed  to  his  episcopal  palace ;  but  there 
certainly  did  not  take  place  that  entire  and  sudden  change 
in  his  habits,  which  has  been  spoken  of  by  some  historians, 
— and  which  even  Lingard  supposes  to  have  occurred. 
His  dress  and  his  retinue,  as  Mr  Froude  remarks,  were 
still  remarkable  for  their  magnificence,  his  table  for  its 
almost  fastidious  delicacy,  his  companions  for  their  rank 
and  intellectual  accomplishments,  his  studies,  for  their 
political  and  philosophical,  rather  than  their  religious 
character  ;   and  the  only  change  discernible  in  his  pursuits 

M  '2 


138  BECKET. 

and  manner  of  living,  was  such  as  the  change  of  his  rank 
and  occupations  would  necessarily  suggest  to  a  refined 
taste.  Two  years  after  his  consecration,  we  find  his  firm 
and  tried  friend,  John  of  Salisbury,  addressing  to  him  the 
following  letter :  a  letter  which  shews  that  he  considered 
the  archbishop  to  be  very  far  from  being  a  saiDt,  though  he 
certainly  regarded  him  as  a  religious  man.  It  is  indeed  re- 
markable how  freely  the  companions  and  friends  of  Becket 
addressed  him  when  he  became  archbishop.  They  seem 
to  have  looked  upon  him  as  one  pre-eminently  gifted, 
advanced  to  a  high  station  in  the  Church,  anxious  to  do 
his  duty  as  a  churchman,  but  often  ignorant  of  what  his 
duty  was,  and  requiring  guidance  in  a  position  so  little  in 
accordance  with  his  previous  habits.  And  he,  conscious 
of  his  deficiencies,  receives  with  a  meekness  not  natural  to 
him,  and  therefore  the  effect  of  divine  grace,  their  friendly 
but  free-spoken  admonitions.  John  of  Salisbury  addresses 
the  archbishop  with  the  feelings  of  a  paternal  friend,  who 
regarded  Becket  as  ready  to  take  the  right  political  line 
with  respect  to  the  Church,  but  requiring  direction  as  to 
his  personal  conduct. 

"  My  advice  to  your  lordship,"  says  this  excellent  man, 
"  and  my  earnest  wish,  and  the  sum  of  my  entreaties,  is 
this ;  that  you  commit  yourself  with  your  whole  soul  to 
the  Lord  and  to  your  prayers.  It  is  written  in  the 
Proverbs,  '  the  name  of  the  Lord  is  a  strong  tower,  the 
righteous  runneth  into  it,  and  is  safe.'  In  the  mean  time, 
to  the  best  of  your  ability,  put  aside  all  other  business  ; 
other  things  are  important  and  necessary ;  but  what  I 
advise  is  still  more  important,  because  more  necessary. 
The  laws  and  the  canons  may  profit  much,  but  not  for  us 
under  our  present  circumstances.  Believe  me,  my  lord, 
'  non  haec  ista  sibi  tempus  spectacula  poscunt.'  These 
things  are  better  food  for  curiosity  than  for  devotion. 
Your  lordship  recollects  how  it  is  written :  « Let  the 
priests,  the  ministers  of  the  Lord,  weep  between  the 
porch  and  the  altar;  and  let  them  say,  Spare  thy  people, 


BECKET.  139 

O  Lord.'  ■  I  communed  with  my  own  heart,'  saith  the 
Prophet,  '  and  made  diligent  search' — '  in  the  day  of  my 
trouble  I  sought  the  Lord;'  thus  teaching  us  that  to 
cleanse  and  discipline  the  spirit  is  the  way  to  ward  off  the 
lash  of  conscience,  and  to  obtain  for  us  the  loving  mercies 
of  God. 

"  Who  ever  rose  with  a  feeling  of  contrition  from  a 
study  of  the  laws  or  even  of  the  canons  ?  The  exercises 
of  the  schools,  too,  are  more  likely  to  puff  us  up  with  the 
pride  of  science,  than  to  kindle  within  us  any  feeling  of 
devotion.  I  would  far  rather  see  your  lordship's  thoughts 
employed  upon  the  psalms,  or  on  the  sermons  of  the 
blessed  Gregory,  than  intent  upon  this  philosophy  of  the 
schools.  Far  better  were  it  to  confer  on  serious  subjects 
with  some  spiritual  person,  and  to  warm  your  feelings  by 
his  example,  than  to  dwell  upon  and  discuss  the  subtle 
controversies  of  secular  literature. 

"God  knows  the  sincerity  with  which  I  speak  this — 
your  lordship  will  receive  it  as  seems  good  to  you.  Yet 
be  assured  that  if  you  do  these  things,  God  will  be  on 
your  side,  and  you  need  not  fear  what  flesh  can  do  unto 
you.  He  knows  that  in  our  present  troubles,  we  have  no 
mortal  arm  to  depend  upon." 

There  were  two  parties  at  this  time  in  the  church  of 
England  ;  a  deeply  religious  party,  at  the  head  of  which 
was  Gilbert  Foliot,  bishop  of  London,  and  a  party  which 
looked  at  the  Church  rather  in  its  political  than  its 
religious  bearing,  at  the  head  of  which  Becket  now  placed 
himself.  In  the  latter  party  there  were  men  of  earnest 
piety,  but  their  opponents,  by  representing  them  as  mere 
men  of  the  world,  endeavoured  to  undermine  their  in- 
fluence. We  know  that  it  was  thus  that  Becket  was 
represented  to  the  empress  Matilda :  she  was  made  to 
believe  that,  "  from  the  time  of  his  consecration,  the 
persons  he  had  kept  about  him  were  men  distinguished 
rather  for  rank  and  talent  than  for  religion ;  and  that  in 
disposing  of  his  benefices,  he  looked  rather  to  his  own 


140  BECKET. 

service  than  God's ;  promoting  men  of  notoriously  low 
character." 

He  commenced  his  duties  with  his  accustomed  energy 
of  character.  In  the  spring  of  1163  he  attended  the 
council  of  Tours,  with  several  of  his  suffragans,  and  there 
he  was  received  with  marked  attention  :  fifteen  cardinals, 
with  all  the  bishops  who  had  arrived  before  him,  went  out 
to  meet  the  primate  of  the  church  of  England ;  and  when 
the  council  opened,  he  took  his  place  with  his  suffragans, 
at  the  right  hand  of  the  pope.  At  this  time  there  was  a 
schism  in  the  papacy,  Alexander  III  being  acknowledged 
by  the  kings  of  England  and  France,  and  his  rival  Octa- 
vian,  under  the  name  of  Victor  IV.  being  received  by  the 
emperor.  The  council  was  convened,  among  other  things, 
to  confirm  the  election  of  Alexander,  who  had,  at  his 
election,  the  votes  of  seventeen  cardinals,  his  rival  having 
only  three  votes. 

On  the  archbishop's  return  to  England,  he  began  to 
exert  himself  with  great  vigour,  in  defence  of  the  rights 
and  privileges  of  the  church  of  Canterbury ;  for,  besides 
prosecuting  at  law  several  of  the  nobility  and  others,  for 
lands  alienated  from  the  see,  during  the  civil  disturbances 
of  the  last  reign,  he  claimed  from  the  king  himself  the 
castle  of  Rochester,  and  the  honours  of  Hythe  and  Sand- 
gate,  which,  he  said,  belonged  peculiarly  to  the  see  of 
Canterbury.  He  moreover  summoned  Roger  de  Clare,  to 
do  him  homage  for  the  castle  of  Tunbridge,  and  sent  a 
similar  citation  to  William  de  Ross.  Many  more  applica- 
tions of  a  like  nature  were  made.  The  general  answer 
was,  that  they  held  under  the  king,  and  owned  no  other 
lord.  There  is  little  doubt  that  the  claims  were  just,  but 
the  nobility  were  alarmed,  and  the  king  was  irritated. 

Although  during  the  first  twelve  months  after  his 
consecration,  the  archbishop  appeared  to  enjoy  his  wonted 
ascendancy  over  Henry,  his  enemies  were  many,  and  not 
inactive  in  insinuating  suspicions  of  his  conduct  and 
designs  into  the  irritable  mind  of  the  king.     Becket,  as 


BECKET.  141 

we  have  observed  before,  must  have  felt  that  although  as 
chancellor  he  might  either  restrain  the  king,  or  else,  as  a 
friend,  share  in  the  odium,  if,  in  spite  of  his  attempt  to 
restrain  him,  Henry  persevered  in  an  act  of  injustice,  he 
could  not  act  thus  as  archbishop :  the  archbishop  would 
have  to  oppose  each  act  of  injustice,  and  if  the  act  was 
persevered  in,  to  let  the  world  see  that  it  was  not  con- 
nived at  by  him.  He  now  therefore  resigned  the  chan- 
cellorship. Henry  remembered  the  warning  which  Becket 
had  given  him,  and  understood  the  resignation  to  mean 
that  his  interests  might  clash  with  those  of  the  Church, 
in  which  case  he  was  not  to  depend  on  the  arch- 
bishop's support,  and  his  angry  feelings  were  excited. 
When  Becket,  after  his  resignation,  first  met  the  king,  on 
his  landing  at  Southampton,  to  quell  the  disturbances  in 
Wales,  it  was  remarked,  that  although  they  embraced,  the 
eyes  of  the  king  were  turned  from  him,  and  there  was  an 
evident  coldness  and  restraint  in  his  manner.  As  a  fair 
act  of  retaliation,  the  king  compelled  the  archbishop  to  re- 
sign the  rich  archdeaconry  of  Canterbury,  which  Becket  had 
still  retained,  and  which  he  certainly  ought  to  have  vacated 
before.  It  is  said  that  the  archbishop  retained  the  arch- 
deaconry to  prevent  its  being  conferred  on  Geoffrey  de 
Biddel,  an  unworthy  person  ;  but  when  he  was  claiming 
all  the  rights  of  his  see,  the  king  was  justified  in  prevent- 
ing him  from  assuming  more  than  was  his  due,  and  from 
holding  the  rich  archdeaconry  in  commendam. 

The  hearts  of  the  two  friends  were  thus  in  fact  alienated 
before  that  controversy  commenced,  which  only  terminated 
in  the  death  of  Becket.  That  which  brought  them  into 
immediate  collision,  was  a  controversy  relating  to  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  ecclesiastical  courts. 

The  Church  is  an  imperium  in  itself,  governed  under 
its  Divine  Head,  by  officers  of  its  own,  independent  of  all 
civil  authorities.  Such  an  institution  must  be  viewed  with 
suspicion  and  jealousy  by  the  government  of  any  country 
in  which  it  is  planted,  an  imperium  in  imperio.  The 
provincial  governors,  under  the  first  emperors  of  Rome, 


U3  BECKET. 

were  perplexed  and  annoyed  at  finding  in  every  city 
and  province  the  Christian  Church  or  the  kingdom 
of  Christ  existing,  with  regularly  constituted  officers, 
holding  concurrent  jurisdiction  with  themselves,  and  con- 
vening provincial  councils,  in  which  laws  were  enacted 
without  regard  or  reference  to  the  civil  authorities.  The 
fear  of  excommunication  from  this  spiritual  kingdom  was 
stronger  than  the  fear  of  death.  It  is  true  that  the  people 
were  instructed  never  to  resist  by  force  the  government  of 
the  country,  or  the  laws  of  the  land :  but  then  there  was  a 
passive  resistance,  which  was  more  provoking.  If  a  law 
pronounced  by  the  Church  or  spiritual  kingdom  to  be 
sinful,  such  as  the  worship  of  idols,  were  enforced,  the 
people  were  instructed,  not  indeed  to  rise  up  in  rebellion 
against  the  iniquitous  law,  but  meekly  to  submit  to  the 
penalty  for  transgressing  it,  whether  that  were  the  spoiling 
of  goods  or  the  loss  of  life  ;  and  by  this  mode  of  resistance, 
every  persecution  was  perceived  to  add  to  the  Church's 
strength.  Wherever  there  was  a  Roman  governor  there 
was  a  bishop  of  the  Church  ;  and  if  the  commands  of  the 
one  and  the  injunctions  of  the  other  were  not  coincident, 
the  spiritual  ruler,  not  the  temporal,  was  obeyed,  and  the 
latter  found  bonds,  imprisonment  and  death,  to  have  no 
terrors.  The  imperial  government,  in  consequence  of 
this  state  of  things,  gradually  ceased  to  persecute,  and 
perceived  the  policy  of  allying  itself  as  closely  as  possible 
with  this  new  kingdom  upon  earth,  this  fifth  empire. 
But  the  Church,  strong  in  the  affections  of  the  common 
people,  was,  in  this  alliance,  the  more  powerful  body  of 
the  two,  and  the  alliance  was  formed,  not  by  bending  the 
canons  of  the  Church  to  the  laws  of  the  heathen  empire, 
but  by  giving  an  ecclesiastical  tone  and  character  to  the 
imperial  laws.  In  the  laws  of  the  Roman  empire,  the 
power  of  the  Church  is  perceived. 

But  as  time  has  gone  on,  the  position  of  the  two  socie- 
ties has  been  materially  changed.  The  Church  has  now 
become  the  weaker  body ;  the  state  has,  in  every  country, 
and   especially  in  England,  obtained  such  power  that  it 


BECKET.  143 

has  tyrannized  over  the  Church,  and  to  the  laws  of  the  land 
the  ecclesiastical  canons  have  given  place.  As  the  time 
of  Anti-christ  draws  nearer  we  must  expect  the  alienation 
of  the  state  from  the  Church  to  increase  ;  perhaps  persecu- 
tion will  partially  revive  ;  we  know  that  when  Anti-christ 
himself  comes,  persecution  will  be  carried  on  so  effect- 
ually, that  the  Church  will  be  reduced  to  the  lowest 
condition,  in  point  both  of  influence  and  members.  In 
the  person  of  Anti-christ  the  state  will  triumph  over  the 
Church. 

When  such  is  our  view  of  the  destiny,  as  well  as  the 
history,  of  the  Church,  the  struggle  of  Henry  and  Becket 
assumes  a  peculiar  degree  of  interest,  since  it  was  the 
commencement  of  this  straggle  between  the  Church  and 
the  state.  The  relative  position  of  the  two  bodies,  which 
had  so  long  acted  together,  and  had  almost  become  blended, 
was  now  imperceptibly  changed.  The  king  and  the  arch- 
bishop felt  the  change,  but  could  not  account  for  it.  It 
was  a  change  in  the  minds  of  men.  Men  had  become 
discontented  with  the  circumstances  under  which  they 
were  placed.  In  yielding  to  his  own  impetuous  temper, 
Henry  was,  in  fact,  struggling  to  render  the  outward 
circumstances  of  his  kingdom  accordant  with  the  changing 
tone  of  men's  minds ;  and  in  defending  his  own  rights, 
and  the  authority  of  the  Church,  Becket  resisted  innova- 
tions, the  end  of  which  it  was  impossible  to  foresee. 

With  Henry  we  find  that  those  proud  statesmen,  who  feel 
that  the  Church  is  the  great  impediment  to  the  march  of 
liberalism,  entirely  sympathize.  Becket  has  not  been 
able  to  command  the  sympathies  of  Englishmen,  because, 
while  we  can  applaud  his  noble  defence  of  the  Church's 
liberties  against  the  aggressors  of  the  state,  we  perceive 
that  he  was,  through  ignorance  of  the  real  state  of  the  case, 
prepared  to  sacrifice  those  liberties  to  the  court  of  Rome. 
If  he  asserted  his  independence  as  archbishop  of  Canter- 
bury against  the  king,  we  observe  that  he  did  not  maintain 
his  independence  as  a  primate  of  all  England  against  the 


144  BECKET. 

pope,  but  in  his  own  person  brought  our  church  under  the 
papal  control.  By  the  church  of  Rome  he  has  been  canon- 
ized :  we  may  express  astonishment  at  rinding  Thomas  a 
Becket  regarded  as  a  saint,  a  character  in  which  he  did 
not  appear  in  the  eyes  of  his  contemporary  partizans  and 
admirers ;  we  may  protest  against  his  canonization  for  the 
mere  fact  of  his  having  been  murdered  after  conducting  a 
struggle  with  the  king,  always  with  firmness  and  skill,  but 
not  always  in  a  saintly  temper.  It  is  indeed  admitted  by  an 
apologist  for  Thomas  a  Becket,  the  late  Mr  Froude,  that 
the  ardour  with  which  he  devoted  himself  to  his  noble  enter- 
prise, was  not  altogether  such  as  to  consist  with  the  very 
highest  frame  of  mind  ;  there  was  an  eagerness  about  it ; 
a  fiery  zeal ;  a  spirit  of  chivalry  which  excluded  that  calm 
unruffled  quiescence  which  is  the  prerogative  of  faith — that 
entire  indifference  of  consequences,  which  reason  points 
out  as  the  proper  frame  of  mind  for  those  who  fight  under 
the  banner  of  the  Invincible,  who  know  that  whether  their 
efforts  succeed  or  fail,  His  will  is  alike  done.  But  if  we 
may  differ  from  the  church  of  Rome  in  refusing  to  look 
upon  Thomas  a  Becket  as  a  saint,  the  truth  of  history 
obliges  us  to  regard  him  as  a  great  and  good,  though  not  a 
faultless,  character ;  as  one  who  resolutely  maintained  a 
principle,  and  under  difficult  circumstances  acted  with 
consistency  and  an  humble  trust  in  Divine  Providence,  and 
who,  as  his  troubles  increased  and  his  prospect  of  success 
diminished,  became  a  better  and  a  holier  man. 

In  the  early  part  of  the  controversy,  the  consistency  of 
Becket  was,  indeed,  less  apparent  than  in  his  management 
of  it  at  a  later  period.  Like  many  men  of  strong  and 
determined  character,  his  temper  was  kind  and  affectionate, 
and  before  he  had  confidence  in  himself,  he  was  open  to 
friendly  influences,  and  in  one  or  two  instances  yielded  on 
points,  where  by  yielding  he  offered  an  advantage  to  his 
opponents. 

When  the  Church,  according  to  the  statement  made 
above,  was  independent  of  the  state,  Christians  were  ex- 


BECKET.  145 

horted,  on  scriptural  principles,  to  settle  their  differences 
by  submission  to  the  decision  of  their  bishops  or  of  persons 
delegated  by  them,  and  not  to  go  to  law  with  one  another 
before  the  profane  courts.  This  was  the  case  during  the 
three  first  centuries.  When  the  empire,  by  becoming 
Christian,  allied  itself  with  the  Church,  it  was  obliged  as 
the  weaker  body,  to  respect  the  laws  of  the  Church;  and 
the  decisions  of  the  bishops  in  their  respective  dioceses 
had  the  effect  of  law,  though  it  was  left  to  the  option  of 
the  people  to  have  their  causes  tried  either  in  the  imperial 
or  in  the  ecclesiastical  court.  But  as  the  influence  of  the 
Church  over  the  state  increased,  the  privilege,  if  it  were  so 
esteemed,  as  to  choosing  the  court  in  which  they  should  be 
tried,  was  withdrawn  from  the  clergy,  and  every  cleric 
was  amenable  only  to  the  ecclesiastical  tribunal.  There 
was  a  distinction  drawn  at  first  between  ecclesiastical  and 
civil  offences,  but  long  before  the  time  of  which  we  are 
speaking  ;  a  clerical  offender  could  only  be  cited  before  a 
spiritual  judge. 

For  a  time  this  arrangement  worked  well :  a  person  in- 
jured by  a  cleric  obtained  redress,  and  the  Church  was  not 
scandalized  by  an  exposure  of  the  irregularities  of  those 
who  had  been  devoted  to  the  offices  of  religion.  But  the 
court  Christian  could  not  condemn  any  one  to  death, 
while  sentence  of  death  was  pronounced  upon  offenders 
for  comparatively  trivial  faults,  by  the  civil  judges.  So 
long  as  excommunication  was  considered  worse  than  death, 
the  terrors  of  the  spiritual  court  were  equal  to  those  of  the 
civil  tribunal.  But  religion  was  beginning  to  grow  cold, 
and  though  excommunication  subjected  the  penitent  to 
the  most  awful  civil  penalties,  there  was  always  a  feeling 
that  he  might  be  absolved,  and  people  began  to  com- 
plain that  equal  measure  of  punishment  was  not  dealt 
to  the  lay  and  the  clerical  offender.  Flagellation,  fines, 
imprisonment  and  degradation,  subjecting  the  offender  for 
the  next  offence  to  the  sentence  of  the  civil  court,  were 
the    modes   of  punishment  resorted  to  in  the    •'  Courts 


146  BECKET 

Christian :"  and  solitary  confinement  in  the  cell  of  a 
convent,  with  inadequate  food  for  life,  was  considered  by 
the  ecclesiastical  judges  a  severe  sentence  ;  but  such  was 
not  the  prevalent  feeling  among  those  who  upheld  the 
royal  courts. 

By  the  two  courts  not  only  criminal  but  civil  causes 
were  tried ;  and  the  ecclesiastical  courts  being  conducted 
by  men  of  superior  education  and  learning,  and  being 
guided  by  the  fixed  and  invariable  principles  of  the  civil 
and  canon  law,  while  the  decisions  in  the  king's  courts 
depended  upon  precedents  and  written  traditions,  it  was 
natural  for  men  to  draw  into  the  ecclesiastical  courts  every 
cause  which  could  by  legal  ingenuity  be  connected  with 
the  canons  of  the  Church.  So  that  between  the  two 
judicatures  a  rivalry  existed,  in  which  the  king  and  his 
nobles  felt  a  personal  interest,  as  they  obtained  a  principal" 
share  of  the  fees,  fines  and  forfeitures,  of  the  courts  with 
which  they  were  connected. 

There  was  then  on  both  sides  much  professional 
jealousy  among  the  advocates  of  the  respective  courts; 
the  bishops  and  dignitaries  of  the  establishment  were 
interested  on  the  one  side,  the  king  and  his  nobles  on  the 
other ;  and  though  the  people  were  on  the  side  of  the 
Church,  as  in  the  Church  only  they  found  protection  and 
sympathy,  yet  the  reference  to  the  comparative  impunity 
of  the  clergy  in  criminal  cases  gave  some  strength  to  the 
royal  cause.  In  criminal  cases  indeed,  as  well  as  in  civil, 
the  powers  of  the  ecclesiastical  court  had  extended  to 
every  individual  who  had  been  admitted  to  the  ton- 
sure, (such  persons  as  corresponded  with  our  sextons, 
parish  clerks,  &c.)  whether  he  afterwards  received  holy 
orders  or  not.  But  this  extension  of  the  ecclesiastical 
courts  was  the  cause  of  their  weakness  in  this  contro- 
versy, for  the  number  of  offences  was  increased,  and  the 
difference  in  the  mode  of  punishment  more  marked  and 
offensive. 

The  king  had  another  point  on  his  side.     Although  the 


BECKET.  147 

spiritual  courts  in  all  the  continental  countries  had  a 
separate  jurisdiction,  it  had  not  been  so  among  the  Anglo- 
Saxons  :  the  limits  of  the  two  judicatures,  the  civil  and 
ecclesiastical,  had  been  among  them  intermixed  and  un- 
defined. The  bishop  was  accustomed  to  sit  with  the 
sheriff  in  the  county  court,  and  although  even  among 
them,  the  bishop  was  the  sole  judge  of  the  clergy  in 
criminal  cases,  and  alone  decided  their  differences,  yet  in 
many  ways  his  ecclesiastical  became  blended  with  his  secu- 
lar jurisdiction,  and  causes  which  had  in  other  countries 
been  reserved  to  the  spiritual  judge,  were  decided  in  Eng- 
land before  a  mixed  tribunal.  This  state  of  things  was 
altered  by  William  the  Conqueror,  who  separated  the  two 
jurisdictions,  and  established  ecclesiastical  courts  in  every 
diocese,  under  the  bishop  and  his  archdeacons. 

The  reader  will  now  see  why  Henry  insisted  so  vehe- 
mently on  the  return  to  the  "  customs"  or  "  usages"  of 
the  land,  when  making  his  attack  on  the  ecclesiastical 
courts.  He  was,  in  all  things  relating  to  his  feudal  rights, 
prepared  to  follow  the  conqueror ;  but  he  sought  to  over- 
throw this  part  of  his  system,  and  under  pretence  of 
referring  to  the  old  customs,  to  enlist  on  his  side  the 
feelings  of  the  Anglo-Saxons,  although  his  real  object  was 
the  destruction  of  the  present  state  of  things,  not  the 
restoration  of  the  Church  to  its  former  position. 

It  will  have  been  seen  that  the  weak  point  in  the  case 
of  the  spiritual  courts,  related  to  their  ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction,  and  on  this  point  Henry  determined  to  attack 
them.  There  had  been  some  gross  cases  of  clerical  delin- 
quency, to  which  public  attention  was  called,  and  by 
which  the  king  had  been  violently  irritated,  as  he  conceived 
that  sufficient  punishment  had  not  been  awarded  to  the 
offenders.  He  summoned  a  council  of  bishops  at  West- 
minster, and  required  their  consent  that  for  the  future, 
whenever  a  cleric  should  be  degraded  for  a  public  crime, 
by  the  sentence  of  a  spiritual  judge,  he  should  immedi- 
ately be  delivered  into  the  custody  of  a  lay  officer,  to  be 
punished  by  the  sentence  of  a  lay  tribunal.    The  following 


148  BECKET. 

is  the  account  of  the  proceedings  of  this  council,  given  by 
a  contemporary  historian  : 

"  Concerning  the  origin  of  the  misunderstanding  be- 
tween his  lordship  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury  and  his 
lordship  the  king — 

"Henry,  king  of  England,  duke  of  Normandy  and 
Aquitain,  and  count  of  Anjou,  came  to  London  on  the  first 
day  of  October,  in  the  year  of  the  Incarnate  Word,  1163, 
and  with  him  Thomas,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  Roger, 
archbishop  of  York,  and  their  lordships  the  other  bishops 
of  England. 

"  This  assembly  met  solely  or  principally  to  recognize 
the  claims  of  the  metropolitan  of  Canterbury  to  the 
primacy  of  all  England.  Nor  was  any  opposition  raised 
except  on  the  part  of  the  archbishop  of  York. 

"  When  this  was  settled,  the  king  of  England  laid 
before  their  lordships,  the  bishops,  certain  harsh  proposals 
for  which  no  oue  was  prepared.  In  the  first  place  he 
complained  of  iniquitous  conduct  on  the  part  of  the  arch- 
deacons, who,  as  he  said,  made  a  profit  of  other  men's 
misconduct,  by  exacting,  in  lieu  of  the  accustomed  penance, 
sums  of  money,  which  they  appropriated  to  their  own  use, 
and  declared  his  pleasure  that  for  the  future  no  arch- 
deacon should  cite  any  offender,  however  notorious,  without 
the  consent  of  the  civil  magistrate.  Then,  proceeding  to 
another  point,  he  stated  his  anxiety  to  devise  some  means 
for  the  better  preservation  of  peace  and  good  order  in  his 
kingdom,  and  his  regret  at  hearing  instances  of  disorderly 
conduct  among  the  clergy,  several  of  whom  were  known  to 
have  been  guilty  of  theft,  rapine,  and  even  murder. 

"  '  It  is  my  request,  therefore,'  said  he,  *  that  you,  my 
lord  of  Canterbury,  and  your  brother  bishops,  in  cases 
like  these,  should  degrade  the  criminal  from  his  orders, 
and  then  deliver  him  up  to  my  courts  of  justice  for  cor- 
poral punishment.  It  is  also  my  will  and  request  that  on 
these  occasions  you  should  allow  the  presence  of  a  crown 
officer,  to  prevent  the  escape  of  the  criminal  after  his 
degradation.'  " 


BECKET  149 

"  His  lordship  of  Canterbury  wished  to  defer  his  answer 
till  the  following  day ;  but  when  this  was  denied,  he 
retired  with  the  other  bishops,  and  the  following  discussion 
ensued  : 

"  The  bishops  mentioned  that  the  world  must  obey  the 
world's  laws, — that  degraded  clergymen  (clerics)  must  be 
given  up  to  the  civil  magistrate,  and  suffer  corporal 
punishment  as  well  as  spiritual ;  nor  could  they  see  the 
injustice  of  thus  doubly  punishing  persons  who,  as  they 
enjoyed  higher  privileges  than  other  men,  when  they 
abused  these  were  doubly  guilty.  Nor  was  this  only  the 
world's  law  :  the  infliction  of  corporal  punishment  in  such 
cases  was  sanctioned  by  Scripture  itself,  which  sentenced 
offending  Levites  to  mutilation  or  even  death. 

"  On  the  other  hand,  his  lordship  of  Canterbury  asserted 
that  to  visit  a  single  offence  with  double  punishment  was 
alike  unjust  and  uncanonical ; — that  Scripture  did  not 
afford  a  precedent  for  it ;  and  that  since  the  sentence 
pronounced  in  the  first  instance  by  the  Church  must  either 
be  just  or  unjust,  unless  the  bishops  would  condemn 
themselves  by  calling  it  unjust,  they  could  not  admit  an 
additional  sentence  to  be  just. 

"  'Moreover,'  he  added,  'we  must  be  on  our  guard 
against  lending  ourselves  to  any  designs  upon  the  liberty 
of  the  Church  ;  for  which,  according  to  the  example  of  our 
great  High  Priest,  we  are  bound  by  our  office  to  contend 
even  unto  death.  But  ye  have  not  yet  resisted  unto 
death.' 

"  The  bishops  answered,  that  by  sacrificing  the  liberty 
of  the  Church  they  in  no  way  compromised  the  Church 
itself.  'Indeed,'  said  they,  '  such  a  course  would  rather 
tend  to  strengthen  it.  An  obstinate  resistance  on  our 
part  can  end  in  nothing  but  our  own  ruin  :  whereas,  by 
giving  way  to  the  king  in  this  point  we  may  retain  our 
inheritance  in  God's  sanctuary,  and  repose  in  the  peace- 
able possession  of  our  churches.  We  are  placed  in  diffi- 
cult circumstances,  and  the  temper  of  the  times  requires 
of  us  large  concessions.' 

8  N 


150  BECKET. 

"  On  this  his  lordship  of  Canterbury,  being  very  zealous 
for  the  house  of  God,  spoke  as  follows  : 

"  'I  see,  my  lords,  that  you  disguise  to  yourselves  your 
cowardice  under  the  name  of  patience,  and  that  on  this 
pretext  of  concession  the  spouse  of  Christ  is  to  be  given 
up  to  slavery.  And  who  hath  bewitched  you,  ye  insen- 
sate prelates?  Why  would  ye  mask  palpable  iniquity 
under  this  virtuous  name,  concession  ?  Why  do  ye  call 
that  concession,  which  is,  in  fact,  abandonment  of  the 
church  of  Christ  ?  Words,  my  lords,  should  be  the  signs 
of  things,  not  their  disguises. 

"  '  But,'  say  your  lordships,  '  we  must  make  concessions 
to  the  temper  of  the  times.'  Granted;  but  not  vicious 
concessions  to  vicious  temper. 

"  '  My  lords,  the  cause  of  God  is  not  so  ill  supported, 
as  to  require  your  fall  that  it  may  stand.  Nor  is  the  Most 
High  at  a  loss  for  means  to  uphold  his  Church,  though 
unaided  by  the  truckling  policy  of  its  governors.  Truly 
one  would  suppose  that  your  lordships  compassionated 
our  Lord  Christ,  as  though  he  were  of  himself  powerless 
to  defend  His  spouse,  and  stood  in  need  of  your  ingenious 
devices. 

"  '  Know,  my  lords,  that  this  temper  of  the  times  is  the 
very  thing  which  constitutes  your  trial.  When  is  it,  I 
pray  you,  that  a  bishop  is  called  on  to  expose  himself  to 
danger?  Think  ye  that  it  is  in  tranquil  times,  or  in  dis- 
turbed ?  Your  lordships  will  surely  blush  to  answer  '  in 
tranquil  times.'  Remember,  therefore,  that  when  the 
Church  is  troubled,  then  it  is  that  the  shepherd  of  the 
Church  must  expose  himself.  Think  not,  that  if  the 
bishops  of  old  times  were  called  on  to  found  the  church 
of  Christ  on  their  blood,  we  in  these  times  are  less  called 
on  to  shed  ours  in  its  defence. 

"  '  I,  for  my  part,  (God  is  my  witness,)  do  not  dare  to 
recede  from  that  form  of  government  which  has  been 
handed  down  to  us  from  those  holy  fathers.' 

"  These  words  of  the  archbishop  were  soon  carried  to 
the  kings  ears ;  and  straightway  you  might  see  all  the 


BECKET.  151 

pillars  of  the  Church  to  tremble  as  reeds  before  the  wind  ; 
nor  did  anything  support  them  against  the  terrors  with 
which  they  were  threatened  except  the  firmness  of  his 
lordship  of  Canterbury. 

"  When  the  king  found  that  in  this  instance  his  will 
was  ineffectual,  he  immediately  took  different  ground,  and 
merely  put  to  them  the  question,  whether  it  was  their 
intention  to  conform  unreservedly  to  the  usages  of  his 
kingdom  ?  His  lordship  of  Canterbury  answered  advi- 
sedly, that  he  would  conform  to  them  without  reserve  as 
far  as  they  consisted  with  the  privileges  of  his  order.  The 
same  question  was  then  put  to  each  singly,  and  the  same 
answer  returned  by  all.  The  king  insisted  that  they 
should  pledge  themselves  absolutely,  without  any  excep- 
tion in  favour  of  their  order.  But  his  lordship  of  Canter- 
bury refused  to  give  further  pledges,  without  authority 
from  the  vicar  of  Christ. 

"  The  king,  therefore,  was  greatly  troubled,  and  all 
Jerusalem  with  him  ;  and,  going  forth  in  the  vehemence 
of  his  spirit,  he  departed  at  once  from  London,  without 
arranging  any  business  or  closing  any  account. 

"On  this  you  might  perceive  a  murmuring  among  the 
laity, — confusion  among  the  clergy.  The  bishops,  in 
terror,  followed  after  the  king,  fearing  that  before  they 
reached  him  they  should  hear  of  a  confiscation  of  all  their 
goods,  and  soon  after  made  an  underhand  arrangement 
with  him,  in  which  all  mention  was  dropped  both  of  God 
and  their  order.  Indeed,  so  readily  did  they  yield  to  his 
request,  that  their  consent  seemed  to  have  been  given 
even  before  it  was  asked,  and  those  who  had  most  influ- 
ence seemed  most  willing  to  exert  it  against  the  Church. 

"In  the  meantime  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury  sat 
apart  by  himself,  looking  to  the  right  and  to  the  left,  but 
there  was  no  man  that  would  know  him.  He  sought 
comfort  among  his  brethren,  but  they  had  gone  astray 
backwards,  and  now  they  walked  not  with  him.  At  length, 
seeing  the  prosperity  of  the  unrighteous,  and  the  danger 
that  hung  over  himself,    «  One  thing,'  said  he,  '  I  have 


152  BECKET. 

spoken,  namely,  that  I  will  not  conform  to  the  usages  of 
this  world  where  they  interfere  with  the  privileges  of  my 
divine  order.  For  this  I  have  incurred  the  displeasure  of 
the  king — for  this  I  have  been  deserted  by  my  brethren, 
and  have  offended  the  whole  world.  But  let  the  world 
say  yea  or  nay,  never  will  I  so  covenant  with  mortal  man 
as  to  forget  my  covenant  with  God  and  my  order.  God 
willing,  be  it  far  from  me,  that  either  the  fear  or  love  of 
man  should  make  me  indifferent  to  God.  If  an  angel 
from  heaven  come  to  me  and  counsel  me  so,  let  him  be 
accursed.'  " 

The  king  soon  perceived  that  it  would  be  the  part  of 
sound  policy  to  form  a  party  among  the  bishops,  and  to 
create  a  misunderstanding  between  them  and  the  primate. 
He  encouraged,  therefore,  the  archbishop  of  York  to  insist 
on  bearing  his  crosier  in  the  province  of  Canterbury,  and 
the  bishop  of  London  to  refuse  to  profess  canonical  sub- 
jection. Clarenbald,  abbot  elect  of  St  Augustine's,  Can- 
terbury, had  also  withdrawn  his  monastery  from  the 
archiepiscopal  jurisdiction,  and  when  Becket  insisted  on 
his  rights,  these  several  parties  appealed  to  the  pope,  and 
their  respective  claims  were  supported  at  Sens,  where  the 
pope  then  resided,  with  the  king's  money  and  influence. 
The  cardinals  were  gained  over  ;  the  pope  was  frightened  :. 
gloomy  accounts  arrived  from  John  of  Salisbury,  from  the 
bishop  of  Poictiers,  and  from  Becket's  private  messengers. 
In  short,  the  position  of  our  church  was  at  this  time  any 
thing  but  satisfactory;  nor  even  when  we  admit  the 
difficulties  by  which  we  are  at  present  surrounded,  by  the 
opposition  of  the  state  to  all  true  religion,  can  we  think 
that  our  church  was  in  better  circumstances  during  the 
middle  ages.  We  may  here,  also,  remark,  as  we  have 
done  in  former  articles,  how  private  interests  and  human 
passions  were  permitted  to  interfere,  so  as  to  bring  the 
church  of  England  more  and  more  under  the  dominion  of 
the  pope.  Henry,  though  hating  the  papal  court,  would 
submit  to  any  concession,  not  interfering  with  his  imme- 
diate objects,  to  carry  a  point,  and  Becket  and  his  friends, 


BECKET.  153 

though  free  in  their  remarks  on  the  venality,  selfishness, 
and  vrant  of  principle  in  the  pope  and  his  cardinals, 
conceded  principles  which  entirely  subverted  the  indepen- 
dence of  the  church  of  England. 

Becket  had  early  notice  that  he  ought  not  to  expect 
support  from  the  court  of  Rome,  on  which  he  vainly,  and 
as  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  improperly  relied.  "  God," 
says  the  bishop  of  Poictiers,  in  a  letter  addressed  to  the 
archbishop,  "  who  has  given  you  courage  to  begin,  will 
also  give  you  constancy  to  persevere,  if  not  with  success, 
yet  with  a  consummation  still  more  devoutly  to  be  wished. 
But  as  to  human  assistance,  you  will  look  in  vain  to  the 
court  of  Rome,  for  any  support  against  the  king."  After 
recounting  the  difficulties  to  which  Becket  was  exposed, 
the  good  bishop  proceeds,  "  wherefore,  my  beloved  father 
and  lord,  in  all  that  you  resolve  upon,  you  must  look 
solely  to  the  will  of  God,  and  to  the  interests  of  that 
church  over  which  God  has  appointed  you.  This  must  be 
your  only  consolation,  your  only  hope."  Becket's  private 
messenger,  one  Magister  Henricus,  writes  to  him  thus  : 

"  At  Soissons,  the  king  of  France  received  myself  and 
my  charge  with  evident  pleasure,  and  at  once  despatched 
the  prior  of  St  Mard  of  Soissons  with  letters  to  the  pope. 
The  prior  is  a  man  of  great  weight  and  discretion,  and 
was  charged  with  other  matters  respecting  your  lordship, 
more  important  than  the  kiDg  could  trust  his  secretary  to 
write. 

"  On  taking  my  leave,  his  majesty  took  my  hand  in  his 
own,  and  pledged  himself,  on  the  word  of  a  king,  that  if 
chance  ever  brought  your  lordship  to  his  dominions,  he 
would  receive  you  neither  as  a  bishop  nor  an  archbishop, 
but  as  a  brother  sovereign.  The  count  of  Soissons  too 
assured  me  most  solemnly,  that  he  would  consign  to  your 
lordship's  use  the  whole  revenues  of  his  earldom,  and  that 
if  I  would  return  from  Sens  his  way,  he  would  send  you  a 
letter  to  that  effect. 

"  Having  finished  my  business  at  Soissons  I  hastened 
to  court,  in  the  prior  s  company,  through  the  estates  of 


154  BECKET. 

count  Henry.  The  way  was  shortest,  and  my  companion 
was  a  guarantee  for  my  safety.  Two  days  before  I  had 
access  to  the  pope's  presence,  the  prior  delivered  the  king's 
letters,  and  the  commission  with  which  he  had  been 
entrusted  by  word  of  mouth. 

"  At  length  I  was  admitted.  His  holiness,  on  receiving 
me,  sighed  deeply,  and  betrayed  other  signs  of  dejection. 
He  had  already  heard  all  that  took  place  in  the  council, — 
the  persecution  of  the  Church,  your  lordship's  firmness, 
which  of  the  bishops  stood  by  you,  how  he  went  out  from 
among  you  who  was  not  of  you,  the  sentence  passed  upon 
the  cleric ;  indeed,  every  thing  that  had  been  done  most 
secretly  was  known,  before  my  arrival,  to  the  whole  court, 
and  even  talked  of  in  the  streets.  A  secret  interview  was 
then  granted  to  me,  in  which  I  laid  before  his  holiness 
the  several  heads  of  our  memorial.  He,  on  his  part, 
praised  G  od  without  ceasing  for  vouchsafing  to  his  Church 
such  a  shepherd.  Indeed,  the  whole  court  loudly  extols 
in  your  lordship  that  courage  in  which  itself  is  so 
lamentably  deficient.  As  for  themselves,  they  are  lost  in 
imbecility,  and  fear  God  less  than  men.  They  have  just 
heard  of  the  capture  of  Radicofani,  and  in  it  of  the  pope's 
uncle  and  nephews.  Other  castles  too,  belonging  to  the 
fathers  of  certain  cardinals,  have  surrendered  to  the 
Germans.  Besides  this,  John  de  Cumin  has  now  been  a 
long  time  at  the  emperor's  court,  and  count  Henry  absents 
himself  from  the  pope's  presence,  and  no  messenger  has 
of  late  arrived  from  the  king  of  England,  and  other  con- 
curring events  have  so  terrified  them  that  there  is  no 
prince  whom  they  would  now  dare  to  offend,  and  least  of 
all  the  king  of  England ;  nor  would  they,  if  they  could, 
raise  a  hand  in  defence  of  the  Church  which  is  now  in 
danger  in  all  parts  of  the  world.     But  of  this  enough. 

"  What  has  been  the  success  of  your  lordship's  peti- 
tions you  will  doubtless  hear  from  the  prior,  and  from 
the  bishop  of  Poictiers,  who,  by  the  grace  of  God, 
arrived  here  the  day  before  myself,  and  has  laboured 
in  your   lordship's  cause  with  most  friendly  zeal.     His 


BECKET.  155 

holiness  declines  altogether  to  offend  the  king,  and  has 
written  to  the  archbishop  of  York  in  a  tone  rather  horta- 
tory than  commanding.  However,  he  will  send  over  a 
brother  of  the  temple  to  mediate  between  your  lordships 
on  the  subject  of  the  cross,  and  to  settle  any  dispute  that 
may  arise  in  the  interim.  In  the  mean  time  the  arch- 
bishop of  York  is  not  to  carry  the  cross  in  your  diocese  ; 
this  we  obtained  by  dint  of  perseverance.  To  the  bishop 
of  London  he  has  written  in  the  same  strain ;  but  the 
only  effect  of  the  letter  will  be  to  make  his  pride  insolent. 
Indeed  the  pope  feels  this,  and  sends  your  lordship  a  copy 
of  the  letter,  that  you  may  judge  for  yourself  whether  to 
forward  or  retain  it.  As  to  the  profession,  his  lordship  of 
Poictiers  has  debated  it  with  the  pope  repeatedly,  and  we 
have  at  last  obtained  a  promise  that  if,  on  being  demanded, 
it  is  formally  refused,  then  his  holiness  will  extort  if. 
The  bishop  will  explain  this  in  his  second  letter:  the 
subscription  will  distinguish  the  second  from  the  first. 
In  the  matter  of  St  Augustine's  we  can  obtain  nothing. 
The  pope  asserts  that  he  has  himself  seen  grants  of  his 
predecessors,  which  he  cannot  revoke,  securing  the  privi- 
leges now  claimed  by  the  convent. 

"  Lastly,  on  our  requesting  that  his  holiness  would  send 
your  lordship  a  summons  to  appear  before  him,  he  an- 
swered with  much  apparent  distress,  '  God  forbid  !  rather 
may  I  end  my  days  than  see  him  leave  England  on  such 
terms,  and  bereave  his  church  at  such  a  crisis.' 

"  May  God  preserve  your  lordship  in  all  your  ways. 
At  Clairvaux,  Cisteaux,  and  Pontigni,  by  the  pope's 
request,  prayer  is  made  daily  for  yourself  and  your  church. 
May  my  lord  inform  me  shortly  how  he  fare,  that  my 
spirit  may  be  consoled  in  the  day  of  its  visitation." 

In  a  similar  strain  wrote  John  of  Salisbury,  the  arch- 
bishop's constant  friend :  having  informed  him  of  what 
was  taking  place  at  Paris,  and  then  with  reference  to  his 
intended  journey  to  Sens,  the  papal  residence,  he  says  : 

"Yet  what  to  do  when  I  am  there  I  scarcely  see. 
Many  things  make  against  you  and  few  for  you.     Great 


156  BECKET. 

men  will  be  arriving  there — profuse  in  their  presents, 
against  which  Rome  never  was  proof — backed  not  only  by 
their  own  power,  but  by  that  of  a  king,  whom  no  one  in 
the  court  dares  offend.  Besides,  they  are  protected  by 
grants  from  the  church  of  Rome,  which,  in  a  cause  like 
this,  neither  regards  bishop  nor  friend.  In  this  very 
cause,  his  holiness  has  from  the  first  opposed  us — and 
ceases  not  to  find  fault  with  what  was  done  for  us  by 
Adrian,  that  friend  of  the  church  of  Canterbury,  whose 
mother  still  lives  among  you,  penancing  herself  with  cold 
and  hunger. 

"  We  then,  humble  and  poor,  and  with  no  grants  to 
protect  us,  what  shall  we  have  but  words  to  offer  to  these 
Italians  ?  But  they  have  well  studied  the  lesson  of  their 
poet,  '  not  to  pay  a  price  for  promises." 

"  Your  lordship  writes,  that,  as  a  last  step,  if  all  other 
resources  fail  us,  I  am  to  promise  200  marks.  But  our 
adversaries,  rather  than  lose  their  object,  would  pay  down 
300  or  400. 

1  Nee  si  muneribus  certes,  concedet  Iolas.' 

"And,  truly,  I  will  answer  for  the  Italians,  that  in 
consideration  of  the  love  they  bear  his  majesty,  and  of 
their  respect  for  his  messengers,  they  will  consent  rather 
to  receive  a  great  sum  than  to  expect  a  small  one. 

"  And  yet  in  some  respects  they  side  with  your  lordship, 
because  you  are  troubled  for  the  liberty  of  the  Church ; 
though  here  too  the  king's  apologists  and  your  lordship's 
rivals  endeavour  to  undermine  your  cause,  attributing  your 
conduct  rather  to  rashness  than  to  spirit;  and  to  back 
their  insinuations,  they  hold  out  hopes  to  the  pope  (venas 
hujus  susurri  jam  audiit  auris  mea)  that  he  will  be 
invited  to  England,  and  that  the  coronation  of  the  king's 
son  is  delayed  till  the  apostolical  hand  can  consecrate  him 
— and  your  lordship  must  know  the  Italians  have  no 
objection.  There  are  some  who  already  insult  us  with  the 
threat  that  his  holiness  will  take  possession  of  the  church 
of.  Canterbury,   and  remove  your  lordship's  candlestick. 


BECKET.  157 

However,  I  do  not  believe  that  as  yet  such  a  thought  has 
been  conceived  by  his  holiness,  for  I  hear  that  he  is  really 
grateful  for  your  constancy. 

"  Yet  one  thing  I  am  sure  of,  that  when  Lisieux  is 
come,  there  is  nothing  which  he  will  hesitate  to  assert. 
I  know  him  well,  and  have  tasted  his  wiles.  As  to  the 
abbot,  who  can  doubt  about  him  ? 

11 1  have  just  learned  from  the  bishop  of  Poictiers,  that 
he  can  obtain  nothing  for  you  against  the  abbot  of  St 
Augustine's,'  though  he  has  laboured  hard  for  it.  I  will 
go,  however,  God  willing,  since  your  lordship  commands 
it,  and  will  try  what  I  can  effect.  If  I  fail,  let  it  not  be 
imputed  to  me  ;  for  as  the  poet  has  said — 

'  Ncm  est  in  medico  semper  relevetur  ut  reger, 
Interdum  docta  plus  valet  arte  malum.'  " 

In  the  mean  time,  the  pope  had  written  Becket  a 
common-place  letter,  dated  Sens,  Oct.  26,  1163,  in  which 
there  is  nothing  worth  notice  except  the  concluding 
advice,  "that  Becket  should  at  once  return  to  his  diocese, 
dismiss  all  his  retinue  except  such  as  were  absolutely 
necessary,  and  then  move  rapidly  from  place  to  place." 

He  also  wrote  another  letter  to  Gilbert,  dated  Sens, 
November  9th;  just  such  as  Becket's  messenger  des- 
cribes it — full  of  flattering  expressions  and  gentle  ad- 
monitions. 

When  we  add  to  all  this,  that  the  abbot  of  Eleemosyna 
was,  as  he  represented,  sent  to  England  from  the  pope  to 
press  on  Becket  the  inexpediency  of  persisting  in  a  fruit- 
less opposition,  we  cannot  be  surprised  at  hearing  that  the 
archbishop  was  persuaded  to  go  to  the  king  at  Woodstock, 
where  he  made  promise  of  obedience  to  the  customs  with- 
out the  obnoxious  clause.  By  the  king,  of  course,  the 
humbled  primate  was  graciously  received,  and  a  council 
was  summoned  to  meet  at  Clarendon,  to  discuss  the 
differences  between  Church  and  state. 

The  council  met  at  Clarendon  on  the  5th  of  January, 
1164.     The  king  gave  proof  of  his  intention  to  humble 

VOL.  II.  o 


158  BECKET. 

the  archbishop  yet  further,  by  appointing  John  of  Oxford, 
a  man  most  obnoxious  to  the  archbishop,  to  preside,  who, 
by  his  angry  manner  and  threatening  tone,  chafed  the 
temper  of  Becket,  and  excited  his  suspicions.  Henry 
took  his  seat  and  called  upon  the  bishops  to  fulfil  their 
promise.  The  primate  was  now  roused  and  expressed  a 
design  of  receding  from  his  engagement.  At  this  Henry's 
rage  was  extreme  ;  in  the  eyes  of  the  council  it  bore  the 
appearance  of  phrenzy.  He  menaced  banishment  and 
death.  Those  bishops  who  had  not  yet  forsaken  the 
primate  crowded  around  him  and  implored  him  to  relent, 
as  his  person,  the  safety  of  the  clergy,  and  their  own  lives, 
were  at  stake  ;  the  door  of  the  next  apartment  was  thrown 
open,  and  discovered  a  body  of  knights  with  their  gar- 
ments tucked  up  and  their  swords  drawn  Robert,  earl 
of  Leicester,  and  Reginald,  earl  of  Cornwall,  came  to  him 
and  told  him  that  the  king  had  commanded  them  to  use 
force  if  he  did  not  yield  to  the  royal  will ;  "  though  the 
event,"  they  said,  will,  we  know,  "  bring  infamy  on  him 
and  on  ourselves."  Sacrificing  his  own  judgment  to  their 
entreaties,  the  primate  relented ;  he  signified  that  he 
would  obey  the  king's  will,  and  promised,  "  on  the  word  of 
truth,  that  he  would  observe  the  ancient  customs  of  the 
realm."  The  bishops  made  the  same  solemn  promise. 
But  then  came  the  question,  What  are  the  customs  ?  and 
strange  to  say,  they  were  unknown.  It  was  so  preposterous 
to  call  upon  the  bishops  to  swear  to  observe  customs,  the 
very  nature  of  which  was  unknown,  that  a  committee  was 
formed  to  draw  them  up,  and  at  the  suggestion  of  the 
archbishop  the  court  adjourned  till  the  following  day.  The 
meeting  was  resumed  the  next  morning,  and  a  list  of 
customs  was  prepared.  They  are  now  styled  the  con- 
constitutions  of  Clarendon ;  they  are  sixteen  in  number ; 
it  will  not  be  necessary  to  state  them  at  length,  but  the 
following  clauses  are  those  which  were  most  in  controversy, 
and  which  were  afterwards  selected  by  Becket  for  special 
condemnation 


BECKET.  159 

1.  "  That  no  bishop  may  excommunicate  any  tenant  of 
the  crown  without  the  king's  license. 

2.  "  That  no  bishop  may  imprison  any  inhabitant  of  his 
diocese  for  perjury,  or  breach  of  faith. 

3.  "  That  clerics  shall  be  subjected  to  lay  tribunals. 

4.  "  That  laics,  whether  the  king  or  others,  may  inter- 
fere in  questions  concerning  tithes  or  presentations  to 
benefices. 

5.  "That  appeals,  for  whatever  causes,  to  the  see  of 
Borne,  shall  not  be  lawful,  except  with  permission  from 
the  king,  or  his  officers. 

6.  "  That  no  archbishop,  nor  bishop,  nor  any  other 
dignitary,  may  attend  a  summons  from  the  pope,  without 
the  king's  license." 

The  primate  retired  from  this  council  an  humbled  and 
defeated  man.  He  does  not  appear  to  have  recovered  his 
resolution  immediately.  On  the  first  of  March  the  pope 
certainly  had  under  his  consideration  a  request  from  the 
English  clergy,  to  which  Becket  was  a  party,  soliciting  his 
assent  to  the  acts  of  Clarendon.  When  Henry's  ambas- 
sadors arrived  at  Sens  to  back  this  request,  they  found 
that  the  pope  was  for  once  prepared  to  act  with  resolution. 
Though  on  all  former  occasions  he  was  afraid  to  support 
the  archbishop  against  the  king,  yet  he  was  now  unwilling 
to  take  a  decided  part  with  the  latter.  Like  other  weak 
men,  the  pope  seems  to  have  determined  on  steering  a 
middle  course  between  the  contending  parties ;  or  rather 
on  observing  a  strict  neutrality,  and  allowing  events  to 
shape  their  course  for  themselves.  But  Becket  had  now 
time  and  opportunity  to  discover  that  if  he  persevered  in 
his  opposition  to  the  king,  he  would  not  be  without  sup- 
port :  that  it  was  only  through  fear  and  policy  that  the 
pope  and  cardinals  had  refrained  from  declaring  them- 
selves in  his  favour.  He  felt  himself  degraded  :  and  his 
conscience  reproached  him  for  having  acted  contrary  to 
his  own  judgment,  in  deference  to  the  wishes  of  others. 
There  were  not  wanting  many  among  his  friends  to  pity, 
if  not  to  reproach  him,  for  his  weakness.     On  the  first  of 


160  BECKET. 

April,  it  was  known  at  Sens  that  he  had  suspended  him- 
self from   all   his   clerical   functions  ;    and   on   that  day 
Alexander  wrote  to  him  a  letter  of  consolation  and  remon- 
strance, assuring  him  that  his  fall  had  been  a  pardonable 
one,  and  his  penance  unnecessarily  severe.      Soon  after, 
the  pope  sent  the  archbishop  of  Rouen  to  endeavour  to 
effect  a  reconciliation  between  the  king  and  Becket.     But 
Henry  would  listen  to  no  terms,  unless  the  constitutions 
of  Clarendon  were  confirmed  by  a  papal  bull.     This  con- 
dition being  refused,  Henry  made  a  request  that  Roger, 
archbishop  of  York,  should  be  made  the  pope's  legate  for 
all  England:    a  direct  attack  upon   the  jurisdiction    of 
Becket,    to   which   Alexander   refused   to   lend  himself; 
though  he  showed  his  readiness  to  bend  to  circumstances 
almost   as  much  as  the  enemies  of  the   Church   could 
desire,  by  offering  to  make  the  king  himself  his  legate  :  an 
offer  which  was  rejected,  because  it  was  clogged  with  a 
proviso  that  his  highness  should  do  nothing  to  the  pre- 
judice of  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury;    but    the  offer 
shews  how  ready  the  popes  have   been  to  sacrifice  the 
principles  of  the  Church  to  notions  of  expediency.  Pressed 
beyond  measure  by  the  angry  temper  of  the  king;  be- 
friended with  a  cold  and  vacillating  support  from    the 
pope ;  and  deserted,  day  by  day,  by  his  former  friends, 
who  preferred  the  favour  of  the  court  to  the  service  of  an 
obnoxious  prelate,   Becket  sought  peace  and  safety  in  a 
retreat  to  France ;    but  even  the  crew  of  the  vessel  in 
which  he  sailed  were  not  too  obscure  to  trim  their  sails  to 
the  prevailing  breeze  of  court  favour ;  and   they  earned 
the  thanks  of  the  king,  by  returning  with  the  archbishop 
before  they  had  reached  the  opposite  shore. 

Henceforth  the  controversy  assumes  a  new  shape :  the 
ruin  of  one  man  occupied  the  mind  of  the  powerful 
sovereign ;  and  Becket  regarded  himself  as  representing 
the  independence  of  the  Church,  and  as  called  upon  to 
exert  all  the  energies  of  his  mind  in  that  cause. 

The  king's  conduct  towards  Becket  was  as  mean  as  it 
was  vindictive.      He  ceased  from  his   attack   upon  the 


BECKET.  161 

Church  to  render  more  certain  his  attack  upon  the  arch- 
bishop. In  the  October  of  1164  the  primate  was  cited  to 
a  great  council  in  the  town  of  Northampton,  at  which 
John  of  Oxford  presided,  and  the  king  was  prepared  to 
prosecute  his  enemy,  having  decreed  beforehand  the 
punishment  of  bodily  mutilation  to  any  who  should  not 
bring  in  Becket  as  guilty  of  the  charges  he  was  about  to 
prefer.  The  king  proceeded  from  small  to  the  greater 
charges,  as  by  a  climax.  The  nobles  and  prelates  being 
seated,  he  charged  the  archbishop  with  not  having  done 
justice  in  his  court  of  Canterbury,  to  John,  the  mareschal 
of  his  exchequer,  and  with  not  appearing  in  the  king's 
court,  when  cited  on  the  appeal  of  the  said  servant  of  the 
crown.  The  archbishop  satisfactorily  explained  the  case, 
and  declared  that  his  non-appearance  when  cited  was  no 
act  of  contempt,  but  occasioned  by  illness,  and  that  two  of 
his  knights  had  waited  on  the  court  with  his  apology.  Be- 
gardless  of  every  plea,  the  king  swore  with  an  intemperate 
fury,  that  judgment  should  pass  and  justice  be  done 
him.  The  obsequious  court  yielded  to  the  royal  will,  and 
condemned  Becket  as  guilty  of  contumacy,  for  having 
disobeyed  his  liege  lord,  to  whom  he  had  sworn  fealty 
and  the  observance  of  his  earthly  honour,  and  they  decreed 
all  his  goods  and  chattels  to  be  at  the  "  mercy  of  the 
king :"  a  legal  expression,  to  denote  the  forfeiture  of  all 
personal  property,  unless  the  king  chose  to  accept  a 
smaller  fine.  Custom  had  in  each  county  fixed  the 
amount  of  this  fine :  the  customary  fine  in  Kent  was  forty 
shillings,  but  Becket  was  made  to  commute  the  penalty 
for  five  hundred  pounds,  equal  to  more  than  seven  thou- 
sand pounds  of  our  money.  The  readiness  with  which 
Becket  promised  to  pay  the  money  and  found  sureties,  as 
if  not  condescending  to  dispute  with  his  sovereign  about 
money,  seems  only  to  have  exasperated  the  king.  The 
next  morning  the  king  required  him  to  refund  three 
hundred  pounds,  which  he  had  received  as  warden  of 
Eye   and   Berkhampstead  :    "  more  than  that  sum,"  an- 

o3 


162  BECKET. 

swered  the  primate,  "  I  expended  on  these  castles  and  on 
the  royal  castle  at  London,  as  the  repairs  themselves  do 
shew.  But  money  shall  be  no  ground  oi  quarrel  between 
me  and  my  sovereign.  I  will  pay  the  sum."  And  he 
immediately  gave  security,  thus  in  fact  trampling  over  the 
royal  spite.  Another  demand  was  made,  in  the  hope  of 
bringing  the  quarrel  to  bear  on  mere  money  transactions, 
of  five  hundred  pounds,  received  by  the  chancellor  before 
the  walls  of  Toulouse.  The  archbishop  asserted  that  the 
money  was  given,  not  lent.  But  as  Henry  maintained 
that  it  was  a  loan,  the  court  decreed  that  repayment 
should  be  made,  on  the  principle,  that  the  word  of  the 
sovereign  was  preferable  to  the  word  of  a  subject ;  the 
king's  English  subjects  not  having  arrived  at  the  conclusion 
of  his  foreign  allies,  that  he  was  the  greatest  "  liar '  in 
Christendom.  Thomas  a  Becket  shewed  by  his  manner 
that  he  was  not  to  be  crushed  or  even  irritated  by  such 
paltry  proceedings,  but  on  the  third  day  he  did  stand 
aghast  at  hearing  the  king  require  an  account  of  all  the 
receipts  from  the  vacant  abbeys  and  bishoprics  which  had 
come  into  his  hands  during  his  chancellorship  :  and  it 
was  sufficiently  apparent  that  Henry  would  respect  neither 
law  nor  equity  in  his  proceedings,  when  he  estimated  the 
balance  due  to  the  crown  at  the  enormous  sum  of  forty- four 
thousand  marks.  The  archbishop  declared  that  he  was 
not  bound  to  answer,  for  that  at  his  consecration  both 
prince  Henry  and  the  earl  of  Leicester,  the  justiciary,  had 
publicly  released  him  from  all  similar  claims.  It  matters 
little  whether  Becket  could  have  substantiated  this  asser- 
tion, for  his  recent  elevation  to  the  see  of  Canterbury,  with 
the  omission  to  place  any  such  debts  on  record  until  it 
become  convenient  to  do  so  in  order  that  the  prelate,  since 
become  obnoxious,  might  be  crushed  by  their  weight,  was 
a  sufficient  moral  release.  He  asked  for  leisure  to  con- 
sult with  his  fellow  bishops.  The  request  was  complied 
with,  and  he  withdrew  with  the  bishops  into  a  separate 
chamber. 


BECKET.  163 

It  was  evident  that  the  king's  intention  in  bringing  the 
last  charge  against  the  archbishop  was  to  force  him  to  a 
resignation  of  his  see.  Indeed,  so  intricate  and  extensive 
must  have  been  the  accounts  he  demanded,  and  so  uncer- 
tain the  claim,  that  the  reimbursement  of  any  sum  might 
have  been  required.  The  revenues  of  the  see  of  Canter- 
bury were  not  equal  to  the  discharge,  and  no  sureties  could 
be  found.  The  bishops,  with  the  exception  of  Henry  of 
Winchester,  advised  a  resignation.  Besides  the  bishop  of 
Winchester,  the  bishops  of  London,  Lincoln,  Chichester, 
and  Exeter,  addressed  the  archbishop ;  the  bishop  of  Wor- 
cester excited  a  smile  in  the  assembly,  when,  with  pompous 
self-complacency  he  said,  "  I  wish  to  give  no  opinion ; 
because  should  I  say  that  the  cure  of  souls  ought  to  be 
resigned  when  the  prince  wills  it  or  threatens,  I  should 
speak  against  my  own  conscience,  and  belie  my  heart.  If 
1  say  the  king  should  be  opposed,  there  are  those  present 
who  are  devoted  to  him  who  will  make  their  report.  I 
shall  be  ranked  in  future  with  his  enemies  and  be  condem- 
ned. Therefore  I  waive  all  decision,  and  give  no  advice." 
The  bishop  of  Worcester,  though  a  weak  and  ignorant  man, 
was  nevertheless  not  wanting  in  worldly  cunning,  and 
Becket  knew  that  he  uttered  what  was  felt  by  many  around 
him,  though  they  possessed  the  prudence,  which  the  bishop 
of  Worcester  wanted,  to  conceal  their  feelings.  He  there- 
fore asked  for  a  respite  till  the  morrow,  as  those  to  whom 
his  cause  was  best  known  were  not  with  him,  and  his 
request  was  granted. 

The  following  day  was  Sunday,  and  the  archbishop  find- 
ing that  the  knights  and  others  who  till  now  had  attended 
his  person,  came  not  near  him,  apprehensive  of  the  fate 
which  threatened  him,  ordered  the  poor  of  the  neighbour- 
hood to  be  collected  and  seated  at  his  table.  "  By  these," 
he  said  "  I  shall  obtain  an  easier  victory,  than  by  those 
who  have  shamefully  deserted  me  in  the  hour  of  danger." 
But  though  nothing  could  intimidate  him,  the  anxiety  of 
his  mind  was  proved  by  an  indisposition  which  confined 
him  to  his  chamber  on  the  Monday.     His  spirit,  however, 


i  04  BECKET. 

was  roused  by  an  intimation  he  received  that  if  he  appeared 
in  court  his  destruction  or  imprisonment  was  resolved 
upon.  On  the  Tuesday  he  rebuked  the  prelates  who  had 
again  exhorted  him  to  submit  without  reserve  to  the  king's 
pleasure,  and  then  proceeded  to  St  Stephen's  church, 
where  he  solemnized  the  Holy  Eucharist,  which  he  felt  to 
be  the  most  effectual  support  in  the  difficulties  by  which 
he  was  surrounded  :  nor  did  he  neglect  the  especial  com- 
fort of  the  service  for  the  commemmoration  of  the  proto- 
martyr  in  which  the  passage  occurs,  "The  princes  sat  and 
spoke  against  me." 

He  had  now  determined  to  bring  back  the  controversy 
to  its  original  state,  a  dispute  between  the  king  and  the 
Church,  and  therefore  he  attended  the  council  arrayed  in 
his  pontifical  robes,  and  bearing  in  his  hand  the  archi- 
episcopal  cross,  thereby  signifying  that  it  was  not  in  his 
character  as  a  subject,  but  in  that  of  a  prince  of  the 
Church,  that  he  appeared  before  the  council.  As  the 
king's  object  was  to  crush  a  subject,  he  was  exasperated 
beyond  bounds  when  he  heard  that  Becket  was  thus 
approaching,  and  he  retired  with  the  barons  into  a  neigh- 
bouring chamber,  where  they  were  soon  after  joined  by 
the  bishops.  The  king  knew  not  how  to  proceed  till  some 
of  the  bishops  proposed  to  cite  their  primate  before  the 
pope,  and  procure  his  deposition.  The  advice  pleased 
the  king,  and  "  the  arrogant  and  frothy"  bishop  of  Chi- 
chester was  commissioned  to  address  the  archbishop  in 
the  name  of  his  brethren  :  "  You  were  our  primate,"  said 
he,  "  but  by  opposing  the  royal  customs,  you  have  broken 
your  oath  of  fealty  to  the  king;  a  perjured  archbishop 
has  no  right  to  our  obedience.  From  you,  then,  we 
appeal  to  the  pope,  and  summon  you  to  answer  us  before 
him."     "  I  hear  you,"  was  the  archbishop's  reply. 

His  proud  spirit  would  not  condescend  to  notice  the 
attack  further,  but  he  was  roused  to  speech,  when  the 
bishops,  having  gone  over  to  the  opposite  seats,  the  door 
of  the  inner  room  opened,  and  the  barons,  with  a  great 
crowd,  headed  by  the  earls  of  Leicester  and  Cornwall, 


BECKET.  165 

approached  the  primate,  who  was  addressed  by  the  earl  of 
Leicester :  "  The  king  orders  that  you  appear  before  him 
to  answer  to  his  charges,   as  you  promised,  or  else  hear 
your    sentence."      "My   sentence!"    cried   the   primate, 
rising  from  his  seat :    "  Yes,   sir  earl,  but  do  you  hear 
first ; — You  well  know,  my  son,  with  what  friendship  and 
with  what  fidelity  I  served  my  lord  the  king.     On  that 
account,  it  was  his  pleasure  that  I  should  be  promoted  to 
the  archiepiscopal  see  of  Canterbury,  God  knows,  against 
my  own  will.      For  I  knew  my  own  incapacity ;  and  I 
acquiesced,  not  so  much  for  the  love  of  God,  as  for  his 
love.      This    is   sufficiently  evident,   since    God   to   day 
withdraws  Himself  and  the  king  from  me.     At  my  elec- 
tion, in  the  presence  of  prince  Henry,  who  had  received 
orders  from  his  royal  father,  it  was  asked,  in  what  condi- 
tion I  was  given  to  the  Church  ?  when  answer  was  made  ; 
free  and  discharged  from  every  bond  of  the  court.     But  if 
free,  I  cannot  now  be  bound  to  answer  to  those  things, 
from  which  I  was  then  discharged  ;  nor  will  I."     "  Tins," 
observed  the  earl,   "  is  different  from  what,  the  other  day, 
was  reported  to  the  king."   The  primate  proceeded :  "  Still 
listen,  my  son.     As  much  as  the  soul  is  superior  to  the 
body,   by  so  much  it  is  your  duty  to  obey  God  and  me, 
rather  than  an  earthly  monarch.     Neither  law,  nor  reason 
permits,    that    a   child   judge    or   condemn   his   parent. 
Wherefore,   I  decline  the  tribunal    of  the  king  and  his 
barons,  submitting  myself,  under  God,  to  the  judgment  of 
our  lord  the  pope,  to  whom,  in  the  presence  of  you  all,  I 
now  appeal.     The  church  of  Canterbury,  my  order  and 
dignity,  with  all  that  pertains  to  them,  I  commit  to  God 
and   the   protection   of   the   holy   see.       And   you,    my 
brethren    and    fellow-bishops,    who   have   preferred    the 
obedience  of  man  to  that  of  God,   I  cite  you  to  the  pre- 
sence of  our  lord  the  pope.     Thus  guarded  by  the  power 
of  the  Catholic  Church  and  the  apostolic  see,   I  retire 
hence." 

The  solemn  address  was  taken  to  the  king ;  and  the 
primate  turned  round  to  leave  the  hall.     As  he  passed 


166  BECKET 

through  the  crowd  he  was  insulted  ;  and  some  called  out, 
that  he  retired  like  a  perjured  traitor.  Looking  sternly 
at  the  revilers,  he  said  :  "  Did  the  sacredness  of  my 
character  permit  it,  I  would  by  arms  defend  myself 
against  that  charge  of  perjury  and  treason."  The  outer 
gate  was  locked  ;  but  one  of  his  attendants  perceived  the 
keys  on  the  wall,  and  opening  the  door,  they  went  out ; 
and  amidst  the  acclamations  of  the  clergy  and  people, 
congratulating  him  on  his  delivery,  and  a  crowd  of  beggars, 
he  reached  the  convent  where  he  lodged.  In  the  evening, 
the  bishops  of  Worcester,  Hereford,  and  Rochester,  who 
were  attached  to  the  primate,  waited  on  the  king,  in  his 
name,  requesting  that  he  might  be  permitted  to  quit  the 
realm.  "  To-morrow,  replied  Henry,  "  I  will  lay  his 
request  before  the  council."  But  at  night-fall,  two  noble- 
men, whose  solemn  asseverations  could  not  be  doubted, 
informed  the  archbishop,  that  certain  persons  of  high 
rank  had  conspired  against  his  life,  who  were  mutually 
pledged  to  perpetrate  their  design.  This,  it  seems,  deter- 
mined him  to  attempt  an  immediate  escape ;  wherefore, 
ordering  a  couch  to  be  prepared  in  the  church,  as  if  he 
meant  to  take  sanctuary  there,  before  midnight,  attended 
by  two  monks  and  a  servant,  he  left  the  convent,  and  soon 
afterwards  the  walls  of  Northampton,  passing  northward 
through  a  gate  which  was  left  unguarded.  It  was  Tues- 
day, the  16th  of  October. 

After  fifteen  days  of  peril  and  adventures,  he  landed  at 
Gravelines,  in  Flanders.  His  first  visit  was  paid  to  the 
king  of  France,  who  received  him  with  marks  of  venera- 
tion ;  his  next  to  pope  Alexander,  who  kept  his  court  in 
the  city  of  Sens. 

To  the  pope,  all  parties  in  our  Church,  king,  prelates, 
and  primate,  had  appealed ;  all  were  doomed  to  discover, 
that  by  thus  going  into  Egypt  for  help,  they  trusted  only 
to  a  broken  reed :  but  the  damage  which  the  church  of 
England  received  from  such  proceedings,  was  such  as 
rendered  the  reformation  of  the  16th  century  a  matter 
of  necessity. 


BECKET.  167 

Before  the  arrival  of  the  archbishop  at  Sens,  the  king's 
ambassadors  had  appeared  at  the  court  of  Alexander.  The 
cardinals  were  aware  how  much  it  was  their  interest  not 
to  irritate  so  powerful  and  so  rich  a  prince  as  Henry,  and 
they  saw  the  difficulties  in  which,  by  shewing  favor  to  the 
primate,  they  would  soon  be  involved.  Already  had  part 
of  the  rich  gifts  which  the  ambassadors  bore,  been  spread 
before  them.  The  pope,  though  less  inconsistent  than  the 
cardinals,  still  acted  a  disgraceful  part  in  the  transaction. 
As  Mr  Froude  observes,  "  he  neither  insisted,  as  Becket 
wished,  on  trying  the  cause  in  his  own  presence,  and 
summoning  all  parties  from  England ;  nor,  on  the  other 
hand,  consented  to  place  Becket  again  at  the  disposal  of 
his  enemies  by  ordering  him  to  return  to  his  see,  and 
by  sending  legates  to  decide  the  cause  in  Henry's 
dominions." 

At  this  refusal  Henry  took  deep  offence.  As  a  first 
step,  he  banished  and  proscribed  all  Becket's  friends  and 
relations  with  their  whole  families — sparing  neither  sex 
nor  age — confiscating  all  their  goods — and  leaving  them 
to  find  subsistence  as  they  could  in  the  charity  of  the 
continent.  The  list  of  proscriptions  being  swelled  with 
four  hundred  names,  the  misery  which  ensued  needs 
no  description ;  yet  such  was  the  popularity  of  Becket's 
cause,  that  this  secured  an  asylum  for  the  greater  number 
of  the  exiles.  Monasteries  were  cheerfully  opened  to  the 
men,  nunneries  to  the  women;  many  nobles  offered  large 
contributions  for  their  support — especially  the  king  of 
France,  and  Matilda,  queen  of  Sicily.  This,  however, 
could  not  last  long — charity  was  fatigued,  and  generosity 
blunted,  in  time  ;  and  before  the  six  years  of  Becket's 
exile  were  concluded,  hunger  and  cold  had  done  its 
work. 

The  arrival  of  Becket  at  Sens  excited  feelings  of  sym- 
pathy and  compasssion,  especially  when,  through  ignor- 
ance of  what  became  the  primate  of  an  independent 
Church,  as  high  in  office  and  dignity  as  the  bishop  of 
Rome,  Becket  offered  to  surrender  his  bishopric  into  the 


168  BECKET. 

hands  of  the  latter  prelate :  some  among  the  cardinals 
regarded  this  as  a  ready  way  to  decide  the  dispute,  and 
proposed  that  the  resignation  should  be  accepted  ;  but 
Alexander,  who  was  not  void  of  generous  feelings,  refused 
to  abandon  a  prelate  who  had  sacrificed  the  friendship  of 
a  king  for  the  good,  as  he  supposed,  of  the  Church,  but 
having  previously  condemned  the  ten  constitutions  of 
Clarendon,  recommended  him  to  the  care  of  the  abbot  of 
Pontigny,  and  exhorted  him  to  bear  with  resignation  the 
hardships  of  exile. 

His  residence  at  Pontigny  was  without  doubt  serviceable 
to  Becket's  soul.  He,  who  had  been  hitherto  immersed 
in  politics  or  controversy,  had  now  time  for  more  profitable 
studies.  By  his  contemporaries  he  was  not  regarded  as  a 
saint, — not  even  by  those  of  his  contemporaries  who  were 
most  enthusiastically  devoted  to  his  service.  John  of 
Salisbury  gives  him  the  advice  which  we  might  expect 
from  a  man  of  learning  and  piety. 

"My  advice  then  to  your  lordship,  and  my  earnest  wish, 
and  the  sum  of  my  entreaties  is  this,  that  you  will  commit 
yourself  with  your  whole  soul  to  the  Lord,  and  to  your 
prayers.  It  is  written  in  the  proverbs,  '  The  name  of  the 
Lord  is  a  strong  tower,  the  righteous  runneth  unto  it  and 
is  safe. — xviii.  10.  In  the  mean  time,  to  the  best  of  your 
ability,  put  aside  all  other  business :  other  things  are  indeed 
important  and  necessary ;  but  what  I  advise  is  still  more 
important,  because  more  necessary.  The  laws  and  the 
canons  may  profit  much,  but  not  for  us  under  our  present 
circumstances. 

"  Believe  me,  my  lord, 

'  Non  heec  ista  sibi  temp  us  spectacula  poscit.' 
These  tilings  are  better  food  for  curiosity  than  for  devotion. 
Your  lordship  recollects  how  it  is  written,  that,  in  the  sor- 
rows of  the  people,  '  Let  the  priests,  the  ministers  of  the 
Lord,  weep  between  the  porch  and  the  altar ;  and  let  them 
say,  Spare  thy  people,  0  Lord!1  '  I  communed  with  my 
own  heart,'  saith  the  .prophet,  '  and  my  spirit  made  dili- 
gent search.'     'In  the  day  of  my  trouble  I  sought  the 


BECKET.  169 

Lord.'  Thus  teaching  us  that  to  cleanse  and  discipline 
our  spirit  is  the  way  to  ward  off  the  lash  of  conscience,  and 
to  obtain  for  us  the  loving  mercies  of  God.  Who  ever 
arose  with  a  feeling  of  contrition  from  the  study  either  of 
the  laws  or  even  of  the  canons  ?  The  exercises  of  the 
schools,  too,  are  more  likely  to  puff  us  up  with  the  pride 
of  science,  than  to  kindle  within  us  any  feeling  of  devotion. 
I  would  far  rather  see  your  lordship's  thoughts  employ- 
ed upon  the  psalms,  or  on  the  sermons  of  the  Blessed 
Gregory,  than  intent  upon  this  philosophy  of  the  schools. 
Far  better  were  it  to  confer  on  serious  subjects  with  some 
spiritual  person,  and  to  warm  your  feelings  by  his  exam- 
ple, than  to  dwell  upon  and  discuss  the  subtle  controver- 
sies of  secular  literature.  God  knows  the  sincerity  with 
which  I  speak  this — your  lordship  will  receive  it  as  seems 
good  to  you.  Yet  be  assured  that  if  you  do  these  things 
God  will  be  on  your  side,  and  you  need  not  fear  what  flesh 
can  do  unto  you.  He  knows  that  in  our  present  troubles 
we  have  no  mortal  arm  to  lean  upon." 

It  was  long  before  Thomas  a  Becket  could  adapt  him- 
self to  his  altered  fortunes :  we  find  his  friend  John  of 
Poictiers  remonstrating  with  him  on  the  unnecessary  and 
impolitic  style  of  his  living,  and  urging  on  him,  at  the  same 
time,  the  necessity  of  husbanding  his  resources,  and  of 
conforming  to  the  habits  of  the  religious  establishment  in 
which  he  was  at  that  time  living  as  an  exile.  "  It  will  be 
necessary,"  he  says,  "  as  far  as  one  can  judge  from  the 
present  aspect  of  your  affairs,  to  husband  your  resources 
in  every  possible  way :  to  let  your  enemies  see  that  you 
are  prepared  for  any  sufferings  to  which  your  exile  may 
reduce  you.  For  this  reason  I  have  often  warned  your 
discretion,  and  must  still  earnestly  press  you  to  get  rid  of 
your  superfluous  incumbrances,  and  to  consider  the  bad- 
ness of  the  times,  which  promises  you  neither  a  speedy 
return  nor  a  safe  one.  Your  wisdom  ought  to  know,  that 
no  one  will  think  the  less  of  you,  if,  in  conformity  to  your 
circumstances,  and  in  condescension  to  the  religious  house 
vol  ir.  p 


170  BECKET. 

which  entertains  you,  you  content  yourself  with  a  mode- 
rate establishment  of  horses  and  men,  such  as  your  neces- 
sities require." 

The  archbishop  had  indeed  from  the  beginning  been 
sensible  of  his  insufficiency  for  the  high  office  to  which  he 
was  called,  but  unlike  the  bishop  of  Worcester,  to  whom 
reference  has  before  been  made,  and  who  was  complacent 
in  his  ignorance,  he  endeavoured  to  prepare  himself  for 
his   duties,    by   securing   the   assistance   of    Hubert   de 
Boscham,  to  assist  him  in  his  theological  reading.     The 
following  is  Hubert's  own  account,  as  given  in  the  Quadri- 
logue  :    "  after  early  service  he  took  a  little  sleep ;    and 
then,  before  any  of  the  rest  were  up,   he  would  set  to 
reading  the  sacred  volume,  with  only  one  of  his  train  by 
him,     to    assist    him   in    unfolding   its    mysteries.     He 
used  to  confess  that  the    Scriptures  were  so   deep  and 
obscure  in   many  places,  that   he  was  always  afraid  of 
falling  into  error,  unless  there  was  some  one  to  direct  him. 
And  therefore,  while  on  plain  passages  he  would  trust  to 
what  his  own  understanding  told  him,  in  the  examination 
of  difficulties  he  always  took  me  for  his  guide.     Yes  ;  he 
who  had  been  so  distinguished  for  deeds  of  prowess,  and 
who,  both  as  archbishop  and  in  other  respects,  had  risen 
to  the  very  summit  of  excellence,  yet  trod  the  path  of  the 
Scriptures  with  this  humble  simplicity  ;  never  outstepping 
his  instructor,  or  presuming  at  all  upon  himself.     Often 
in  'our  journeys  would  he  turn  his  horse  out  of  the  main 
road,  and  calling  the  same  attendant  to  his  side,  discuss 
theological  subjects  while  travelling ;  every  now  and  then 
repeating,    '  How    I   wish  I   could   retire   a  little   from 
secular  business,  and  pursue  these  subjects  quietly  and  at 
my  leisure.'  " 

"Without  doubt,"  wrote  John  of  Salisbury,  in  the 
spring  of  1166,  "  this  exile  has  been  of  the  greatest  service 
to  my  lord  of  Canterbury,  both  in  regard  to  his  literary 
attainments  and  the"  tone  of  his  mind.  I  hope,  too,  it  has 
not  been  lost  on  myself."     In  the  summer  of  the  same 


BECKET.  171 

year,  writing  to  another  friend,  he  remarks  :  "  concerning 
the  cause  of  my  lord  of  Canterbury,  I  do  not  despair,  for  he 
himself  hath  hope  in  the  Lord,  penancing  himself  for  the 
deeds  he  did  as  a  courtier,  nor  as  I  think  doth  he  make 
flesh  his  arm."  And  again,  in  the  autumn  following, 
"with  regard  to  my  lord  of  Canterbury,  rest  assured  that 
what  he  has  gained  in  moral  and  intellectual  graces,  far 
outweighs  all  that  the  king's  malignity  hath  been  able  to 
deprive  him  of." 

It  is  pleasant  in  the  midst  of  these  controversies  to  read 
of  this  growth  in  grace,  and  to  find  that  Becket  could 
profit  by  the  deep  spirituality  of  his  friends.  And  at  the 
same  time  nothing  is  more  offensive  than  the  conduct  of 
the  pope,  who  always  held  out  to  him  strong  assurances  of 
support,  and  as  often  as  he  stood  in  need  of  it,  deserted 
him ;  in  the  words  of  John  of  Salisbury,  "  he  often 
preferred  might  to  right,  and  tolerated  as  a  statesman 
what  he  could  never  approve  as  a  prelate :"  the  pope  him- 
self admitted  that  he  could  not  risk  the  loss  of  Peter's 
pence,  by  aiding  Becket  as  he  could  wish  :  and  the  king 
at  one  time  did  not  hesitate  to  tell  the  bishop  of  Worcester 
and  the  other  bishops,  that  he  had  "his  lordship  the 
pope  and  all  the  cardinals  in  his  purse." 

Henry  knew  how  to  play  his  game  against  the  pope. 
We  have  already  stated  that  an  anti-pope  was  in  existence, 
supported  by  the  emperor  Frederick  Barbarossa,  and  at  a 
diet  held  at  Wurtzburg,  ambassadors  from  Henry  had 
appeared,  among  whom  was  the  notorious  John  of  Oxford. 
How  far  the  ambassadors  implicated  Henry  in  the  schism 
does  not  appear,  but  though  they  may  have  exceeded  their 
instructions,  they  were  evidently  sent  to  Wurtzburg  to 
alarm  the  pope,  at  a  time  when  he  seemed  too  much 
inclined  to  favour  the  cause  of  Becket.  And  from  a 
correspondence  between  the  pope  and  the  bishops  of  the 
church  of  England,  it  appears  that  the  end  designed  by 
the  king  was,  to  some  extent,  effected.  But  the  undaunted 
primate  addressed  to  the  king  admonitory  letters,  at  first 
in  a  tone  of  deep  respect  and  even  of  affection ;  but  after- 


J  72  BECKET. 

wards,  with  such  expressions  of  warning  as  could  not 
be  misinterpreted.  Henry  was  alarmed  by  the  tone  of 
these  letters  ;  knowing  the  archbishop  to  be  a  man  not  of 
words  but  of  deeds,  he  perceived  that  unless  he  took  the 
necessary  precautions,  his  kingdom  would  soon  be  under 
an  interdict,  and  himself  excommunicated  ;  he  held,  there- 
fore, a  conference  with  his  barons  and  confidential  friends 
at  Chinon,  in  Touraine,  when  he  behaved  with  extreme 
petulence,  and  declared,  with  groans  and  tears,  that  his 
barons  were  a  pack  of  traitors,  in  not  freeing  him  from  a 
man  who  "tore  his  soul  and  body  from  him."  He  was 
rebuked  with  warmth,  and  yet  gently,  for  his  violence,  by 
the  archbishop  of  Rouen,  while  the  politic  Arnulph,  bishop 
of  Lisieux,  suggested  that  the  only  measure  which  could 
avert  the  impending  sentence,  was  an  appeal  in  the 
name  of  the  king  to  the  pope.  And  Henry,  who  had 
commenced  this  controversy,  by  reference  to  those  ancient 
customs  of  his  kingdom,  through  which  he  desired  to 
suppress  the  right  of  appeal,  had  now  in  his  own  defence 
recourse  to  it.  Thus,  on  all  sides,  by  king  and  prelates, 
as  passion  or  self-interest  swayed,  were  the  liberties  of  the 
church  of  England  sacrificed,  and  our  venerable  establish- 
ment bound  with  fetters  to  the  papal  chair.  The  bishops 
of  Lisieux  and  Seez  were  despatched  to  notify  the  appeal 
to  the  primate.     But  they  found  him  not  at  Pontigny. 

The  apprehensions  of  the  king  were  not  unfounded  : 
before  his  messengers  arrived  at  Pontigny,  Becket  had 
gone  to  Soissons,  and  there  underwent  a  process,  marvel- 
lous according  to  modern  notions,  and  shewing  that 
although  he  had  assumed  the  episcopal  rule,  he  had  not 
laid  aside  his  martial  and  chivalrous  feeling.  He  seems 
to  have  thought  himself  a  spiritual  champion,  engaged  in 
a  kind  of  duel  with  Henry,  and  had  gone  to  Soissons,  there, 
as  John  of  Salisbury  expresses  it,  to  gird  himself  against 
the  day  of  battle.  Thither  he  went  to  commend  himself 
especially  to  St  Drausius,  to  whom,  as  the  said  John  of 
Salisbury  remarks,  "  men  resort  before  a  duel,  and  who, 
according  to  the  belief  in  France  and  Loraine,  imparts  the 


BECKET.  173 

certainty  of  victory  to  all  who  watch  a  night  before  his 
shrine.  "  The  Burgundians  too,  and  even  the  Italians," 
he  adds,  "fly  to  him  for  succour  before  they  hazard  any 
perilous  eu  counter.  Here  it  was  that  Robert  de  Montfort 
watched  before  his  combat  with  Henry  of  Essex."  It 
ought  to  be  observed  that  a  duel  was  at  this  time  one  of 
the  legal  modes  of  settling  a  dispute,  and  was  conducted 
strictly  according  to  the  forms  of  law.  When  two  cham- 
pions fought  it  was  believed  that  God  would  defend  the 
right.  But  it  is  curious  to  find  Becket  giving  in  to  this 
superstition,  not  because  we  should  expect  him  to  be  in 
advance  of  the  tradition  of  his  age,  but  because  it  shews 
the  temper  of  his  mind  at  the  time.  He  was  fighting,  as 
he  supposed,  like  a  knight,  in  defence  of  the  Church,  and 
carried  into  the  combat  the  generous '  and  disinterested 
feelings  of  true  chivalry.  This  throws  an  interest  into 
his  character ;  but  it  is  not  the  character  of  a  saint, 
such  as  the  church  of  Rome  does,  and  the  church  of 
England  does  not,  regard  him. 

Three  nights,  in  the  true  spirit  of  chivalry,  did  he 
watch  before  the  altars,  and  then  returned,  full  of  holy 
ardour,  and  armed  for  the  battle.  It  was  in  the  church 
at  Vezelay,  on  Whitsunday,  that  he  intended  to  pronounce 
his  sentence  of  excommunication  ;  but  two  days  before,  a 
messenger  from  the  king  of  France  informed  him  that 
Henry  was  dangerously  ill.  He  thought  it  proper,  there- 
fore, to  defer  the  sentence  as  it  regarded  the  king.  But 
with  respect  to  others  he  proceeded  to  act. 

On  the  morning  of  the  festival,  amidst  an  immense 
concourse  of  people,  the  archbishop  ascended  the  pulpit 
and  preached.  At  the  close  of  the  sermon  a  solemn  pause 
ensued  ;  the  torches  were  extinguished  ;  the  bells  tolled  ; 
the  crosses  were  inverted,  and  he  pronounced  his  anathe- 
mas. He  cut  off  from  the  society  of  the  faithful,  John  of 
Oxford,  who  had  communicated  with  the  anti-pope  ;  those 
of  the  royal  ministers  who  had  framed  the  constitutions 
of  Clarendon  ;  and  all   who  had  invaded  the  property  of 

p  -4 


174  BECKET. 

the  Church.  The  constitutions  of  Clarendon  he  read, 
and  six  of  them,  as  given  above,  he  condemned.  He 
named  the  king,  mentioned  the  letters  he  had  written  to 
him,  and  now  publicly  called  upon  him  to  repent,  and 
to  make  satisfaction  for  the  injuries  he  had  done  to  the 
Church,  declaring  that  if  he  persisted  in  his  sin,  the 
sentence  they  had  heard  pronounced  against  others  should 
speedily  fall  on  his  own  head. 

Becket  returned  in  haste  to  Pontigny,  whence  he  wrote  to 
his  suffragans  in  England,  and  to  Alexander,  stating  what 
he  had  done.  The  pope  was  at  this  time  inclined  to  support 
him.  Henry  was  naturally  alarmed,  lest  this  should  only 
be  the  first  step  towards  laying  his  kingdom  under  an 
interdict,  when  all  the  offices  of  the  Church  would  be 
suspended,  and  he  himself  be  rendered  liable  to  attack  from 
any  enemy  who  might  think  fit  to  assail  him.  He  there- 
fore sent  orders  into  England,  that  all  communication 
with  the  archbishop,  under  the  severest  penalty,  should 
cease  ;  that  the  ports  should  be  diligently  watched,  and 
that  the  prelates  of  his  realm,  directly  in  the  teeth  of  the 
constitutions  of  Clarendon,  should  renew  their  appeals  to 
the  pope.  The  prelates  appealed,  and  an  angry  corres- 
pondence ensued  between  them,  especially  Gilbert  Foliot, 
bishop  of  London,  their  leader,  and  the  primate.  The 
latter,  as  usual,  received  encouragement  and  advice  from 
the  excellent  John  of  Salisbury,  who  seems  to  have  treated 
him  as  his  child.  "  Some,"  he  said,  "  will  disapprove  of 
the  rashness  of  thus  exposing  your  life  to  your  enemy's 
swords,  and  will  call  it  wiser  to  defer  the  danger  till  more 
thorough  repentance  has  fitted  you  for  martyrdom,  I  answer, 
no  one  is  unfit  but  the  unwilling.  Young  be  he  or  old, 
jew  or  gentile,  christian  or  infidel,  man  or  woman,  it 
matters  not.  Whoever  suffers  for  justice  is  a  martyr,  i.  e. 
a  witness  of  truth,  an  asserter  of  Christ's  cause."  His 
rhetoric,  in  alluding  to  an  infidel,  detracts  from  the  effect 
of  this  sentence.  In  advising  Becket  further,  he  exhorts 
him  to  meet  the  archbishop  of  Rouen,   who  gave  out  that 


BECKET.  175 

all  his  actions  proceeded  from  pride  and  anger,  "  with  a 
studied  display  of  moderation  in  all  your  words  and 
actions,  as  ivell  as  your  dress  and  deportment.  And  yet  this 
will  be  of  little  avail  in  the  sight  of  God,  unless  it  proceeds 
from  the  inner  secrets  of  your  conscience."  "  But  more 
than  all,"  he  says  in  another  part  of  his  letter,  "  be  dili- 
gent in  prayer  and  the  other  exercises  of  Christian 
warfare."  "  I  think,  too,  that  you  have  the  Spirit  of  God. 
For  he  who  gave  you  zeal  when  your  deserts  were  little, 
will  not  refuse  you  wisdom  now  you  deserve  it  and  are  in 
this  emergency.  I  advise  you  then,  as  an  old  father  and 
master"  (Theobald,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,)  "used  to 
say  to  you,  '  not  to  hide  in  your  boot  what  God  inspires 
into  your  heart,'  nor  to  prefer  the  counsels  of  less  wakeful 
and  sincere  advisers."  Of  the  English  bishops,  John  of 
Salisbury  says,  "  some  had  married  wives,  and  were  ener- 
vated ;  others  had  bought  yokes  of  oxen  ;  others  had  been 
heaping  up  riches,  not  telling  who  should  gather  them  ; 
all  were  engrossed  in  pleasures  of  one  sort  or  another ; 
and  therefore  they  chose,  I  say,  to  have  their  ears  bored 
with  an  awl,  and  to  mark  themselves  as  bondmen  for  ever 
to  the  iniquitous  Customs,  rather  than  be  elevated  to 
spiritual  liberty."  This  is  the  sentence  of  a  partizan,  for 
some  of  the  bishops  of  the  church  of  England,  and  Gilbert 
Foliot,  their  leader,  were  men  of  a  highly  spiritual  class  of 
mind,  who  disliked  Becket  from  the  beginning,  because 
they  regarded  him  as  a  mere  polemic. 

Things  now  for  a  little  time  went  on  prosperously  with 
Becket ;  his  public  acts  were  in  the  course  of  the  summer 
confirmed  by  the  pope,  who  ratified  his  suspension  of  the 
bishop  of  Salisbury  for  admitting  John  of  Oxford  to  the 
deanery  of  his  church,  and  the  excommunications  of 
Vezelay.  Towards  the  end  of  September,  the  pope  issued 
a  mandate  for  restoring  to  the  exiled  party  the  benefices 
and  the  proceeds  from  them,  of  which  they  had  been 
unjustly  deprived ;  and,  what  was  perhaps  the  most  im- 
portant step  of  all,  as  indicating  his  favourable  feeling 
towards  the  archbishop,  he  now   conferred    on  him  the 


176  BECKET. 

appointment  of  legate,  which  had  been  his  intention  for 
some  time  back.  The  cause  of  the  king  seemed  thus  to 
be  in  a  most  unprosperous  condition,  when  for  a  while  it 
was  restored  to  better  hopes,  by  the  success  which  attended 
an  embassy  to  Rome,  not  so  much  with  a  view  of  prose- 
cuting the  appeal,  as  to  sooth  the  pontiff,  who  was  at 
this  time  in  great  need  of  money,  to  bribe  the  cardinals, 
and  to  procure  the  appointment  of  two  legates  from  the 
papal  court.  At  the  head  of  this  embassy  was  John  of 
Oxford,  who  had  suggested  the  expedient ;  a  man  noto- 
rious as  one  who  was  at  all  times  ready  to  swear  and  to 
forswear  himself,  and  who  was  known  by  the  name  of  John 
the  swearer.  It  was  a  bold  step  to  send  him,  as  he  was 
excommunicated  and  denounced  at  Rome,  and  was  an 
enemy  of  Alexander  as  well  as  of  the  primate,  having  had 
communications  with  the  anti-pope.  But  the  appointment 
was  in  a  worldly  sense  a  wise  one.  The  gold  of  his  master 
he  largely  distributed  with  both  hands,  and  but  few  of 
"  the  sacred  college"  refused  it.  The  cardinals  espoused 
his  cause.  He  was  ready  to  make  every  concession.  He 
was  himself  absolved  from  excommunication;  resigning 
the  deanery  of  Salisbury  into  the  hands  of  the  pope,  he 
was  by  the  pope  reinstated  in  it ;  and  declaring  that  "  the 
difference  between  the  king  and  the  archbishop  might  be 
accommodated  were  there  an  honest  man  to  mediate,"  he 
obtained  a  promise  that  legates  should  be  sent. 

Henry  had  recourse  to  conduct  as  mean  as  it  was 
vindictive  against  the  archbishop,  for,  seeing  the  undis- 
turbed life  he  was  leading  at  Pontigny,  a  monastery  of 
the  Cistercian  order,  he  signified  to  the  chapter  that  if 
they  harboured  his  enemy  much  longer,  he  should  confis- 
cate their  property  in  England.  The  monks  of  Pontigny 
were  perplexed,  but  Becket  saved  them  from  their  per- 
plexities by  removing  to  Sens,  where  he  was  gladly  received 
by  the  bishop  and  people,  and  lived  under  the  protection 
of  the  king  of  France.  At  Sens  he  contrived  to  reside 
throughout  the  remainder  of  his  exile. 

Nothing  could  exceed  the  astonishment  of  the  primate 


BECKET.  177 

and  his  friends,  when  the  humiliating  news  reached  them 
of  the  appointment  of  the  legates.  Becket  wrote  letters  ex- 
pressive of  the  strongest  indignation,  censuring  the  weak 
pliancy  of  Alexander  and  the  venality  of  "the  sacred  college." 
"  If  reports  be  true,"  wrote  Becket  to  a  friend,  "he  has  not 
only  choked  and  strangled  me,  but  himself,  all  ecclesias- 
tics, and  the  two  churches  of  England  and  France." 
Henry  was  in  proportion  elated;  "  I  have  the  pope,"  he 
said,  "  and  cardinals  in  my  purse,  nor  need  you  fear  any 
of  their  threats,"  and  he  then  told  his  courtiers  what 
cardinals  had  taken  money,  and  by  what  means  they  had 
been  bribed.  He  forgot  to  add,  that  to  cany  his  point  he 
had  conceded  the  object  in  dispute,  and  that  John  of 
Oxford  had  submitted  the  constitutions  of  Clarendon  to 
the  judgment  of  the  pope  ;  for  by  this  concession  he  never 
intended  to  abide.  On  the  other  hand,  Louis,  who  was 
true  to  the  archbishop,  and  not  less  indignant,  declared 
that  the  legates  should  not  pass  through  his  kingdom. 
"  Had  he  sent  them,"  he  exclaimed,  "  to  take  the  crown 
from  my  head,  I  should  not  have  been  more  troubled." 
And  the  friends  of  the  archbishop  had  more  reason  to 
feel  indignant,  when  they  found  placed  at  the  head  of  the 
legatine  commission  William  of  Pavia,  who  was  hostile  to 
Becket,  and  who  openly  declared  his  predetermination  to 
decide  in  favour  of  the  king,  and  on  whom  it  was  reported 
that  the  see  of  Canterbury  would  be  conferred  if  Becket 
were  deposed.  The  other  legate  was  cardinal  Otho,  of 
St  Nicholas,  with  whom  Becket  was  less  dissatisfied, 
though  he  too  was  known  to  be  favourable  to  the  king. 

But  the  vacillating  and  time-serving  Alexander  was 
alarmed  by  the  indignation  with  which  his  proposed  mea- 
sure had  been  regarded  by  the  French  king,  and  he 
actually  nullified  the  whole  proceeding,  by  commanding 
his  legates  not  to  enter  Henry's  dominions,  or  to  take  any 
decided  steps,  till  the  archbishop  was  reconciled  to  the 
king ;  so  that  the  legates,  granted  as  a  boon  to  Henry, 
were  restrained  from  acting,  in  order  to  conciliate  Louis, 
till  Becket  might  think  fit  to  give  authority  to  their  pro- 


178  BECKET. 

ceedings.  In  writing  to  Louis,  after  eulogizing  the 
archbishop,  and  requesting  him  to  use  his  good  offices  to 
promote  reconciliation,  he  adds,  "  But  should  our  efforts 
fail,  might  it  be  agreeable  to  you,  and  not  offensive  to  the 
dignitaries  of  your  realm,  I  should  be  happy  to  appoint 
the  archbishop  my  legate  in  the  kingdom  of  France.  Let 
this  be  secret." 

William  of  Pavia  wrote  a  haughty  letter  to  Becket  with 
reference  to  the  legation,  and  Becket  prepared  first  one 
and  then  another  letter  in  reply,  full  of  indignation  and 
sarcasm,  the  first  of  which,  certainly,  and  the  second  of 
which,  probably,  he  laid  aside  without  sending,  on  the 
advice  of  his  faithful  and  fearless  adviser  and  friend,  John 
of  Salisbury,  who,  with  reference  to  the  first  of  Becket's 
letters,  honestly  says  :  "  I  have  read  the  letter  which  your 
lordship  means  to  send  lord  William :  and  though  I  will  not 
pass  sentence  on  the  writer,  I  certainly  cannot  approve 
the  style.  To  my  mind  it  is  deficient  in  humility,  and 
not  quite  consistent  with  the  command,  '  let  your  modera- 
tion be  known  to  all,  the  Lord  is  at  hand.'  If  your 
lordship's  letter  and  his  are  compared  clause  by  clause, 
the  answer  seems  conceived  in  a  spirit  of  bitterness,  very 
foreign  to  the  sincerity  of  Christian  love." 

Softened  by  the  admonitions  of  his  friend,  for  the  high- 
spirited  archbishop  seemed  always  ready  to  bend  before 
the  rebukes  of  one  whom  he  felt  to  be  his  superior  in 
godliness  as  well  as  in  learning,  Becket  obtained  a  pass- 
port for  the  legates  for  their  journey  through  France, 
which,  except  for  his  interposition  Louis  would  not  have 
granted,  and  for  obtaining  which  he  received  a  letter  of 
thanks  from  cardinal  Otho. 

The  legates,  on  arriving  in  Normandy,  had  an  interview 
with  the  king,  and  they  appointed  a  day  for  conference 
with  the  archbishop.  On  the  18th  of  November,  1167, 
the  conference  took  place  between  Gisors  and  Trie.  The 
legates  sought  by  every  means  to  bend  if  possible  the 
firmness  of  Becket,  and  recommended  to  him  moderation 
and  humility.     The  king  and  his  party  made  bitter  com- 


BECKET.  179 

plaints  of  his  ingratitude,  and  charged  him  with  exciting 
war  between  England  and  France  and  Flanders.  Becket 
defended  himself  against  all  the  charges  brought  against 
him,  and  as  to  the  humility  and  deference  which  they  re- 
commended, he  declared  himself  most  anxious  to  exhibit 
it  in  every  way,  saving  only  the  honor  of  God,  the 
liberty  of  the  Church,  and  the  dignity  of  his  own  station. 
If  this  seemed  too  little  or  too  much,  or  in  any  way  dif- 
ferent from  their  view,  he  was  ready  to  make  any  com- 
pliance, consistent  with  his  oaths,  and  saving  his  order. 
As  to  the  charge  of  having  caused  war  between  the  kings 
of  England  and  France,  the  king  of  France  assured  the 
legates  upon  oath,  that  the  primate  had  counselled  peace, 
on  such  terms  as  should  secure  the  honor  of  the  two  kings 
and  the  tranquillity  of  the  people. 

Henry  had  consented  to  some  trifling  modification  of 
the  constitutions  of  Clarendon,  and  in  the  strerjgth.  of  this 
the  legates  endeavoured  to  persuade  Becket  to  comply  in 
all  things  to  the  king's  wishes  ;  on  the  archbishop's  refus- 
ing to  do  this,  as  the  alteration  made  no  essential  differ- 
ence in  the  state  of  the  case,  the  legates  had  nothing  else 
to  do  but  to  return  to  the  king  to  report  progress.  They 
found  the  king  at  Argentan.  What  passed  at  their 
audience  is  not  known;  but,  in  about  two  hours,  they 
came  out  and  the  king  walked  with  the  legates  to  an  outer 
door:  "May  my  eyes  never  look  on  a  cardinal  again!" 
was  his  angry  exclamation  as  they  turned  from  him.  The 
legates,  however,  had  another  interview  with  the  king, 
and  shewed  the  spirit  with  which  they  had  entered  on 
their  task,  by  sending  to  the  pope  partial  statements  of  the 
position  of  affairs,  and  of  the  conduct  of  either  party, 
which  told  against  the  archbishop,  and  which  were  of 
course  seconded  by  the  efforts  of  the  envoys  of  Henry  at 
the  court  of  Rome.  In  order  to  obtain  time  and  prevent 
the  archbishop  from  placing  the  kingdom  under  an  inter- 
dict, a  fresh  appeal  was  instituted  to  the  see  of  Rome. 

Various   controversies    on   points     of    minor    interest 
occurred  in  the  year   1168   between  the  legates  and  the 


180  BECKET. 

archbishop.  Their  unfriendly  influence  and  partial  acts 
were  met  with  a  promptness  and  vigilance  by  Becket, 
which  must  have  rendered  their  legantine  a  complete 
failure  in  the  estimation  of  the  king,  when  the  king's 
envoys  unexpectedly  returned  from  Koine  with  letters  from 
the  pope,  signifying  that  the  archbishop  had  been  sus- 
pended, that  is,  forbidden  all  exercise  of  his  spiritual 
powers,  till  such  time  as  it  should  please  the  king  to  be 
reconciled  to  him.  The  archbishop  and  his  friends  were 
astounded.  The  effect  that  this  measure  had  upon  the 
king  is  described  by  John  of  Salisbury  in  a  letter  to 
Lombard. 

'*  The  king  soon  made  it  evident  how  he  had  triumphed 
over  his  lordship  the  pope,  and  over  the  church  of  Rome ; 
and  to  hold  up  his  lordship  of  Canterbury  and  his  fol- 
lowers, as  a  scorn  of  men  and  an  outcast  of  the  people, 
he  caused  transcripts  to  be  made  of  certain  letters  from 
his  lordship  the  pope,  licensing  him  to  sin  in  impunity, 
and  forwarded  them  to  all  the  churches  and  dignitaries  of 
each  kingdom.  He  boasted,  too,  that  he  had  in  the  court 
such  friends  as  rendered  all  the  attempts  of  the  arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury  ineffectual;  friends  so  active  in  his 
interest,  that  the  archbishop  could  make  no  petition  or 
demand,  of  which  he  did  not  receive  immediate  notice. 
We  know  the  names  of  those  whose  services  he  makes  use 
of,  and  through  whose  influence  in  the  court,  the  cause  of 
God  and  of  Christ's  little  ones,  has  been  thus  sold  for 
nought.  (For  the  multitude  was  not  in  their  counsels.) 
Would  that  those  ounces  of  gold  had  never  been,  through 
which,  those  who  ought  to  have  been  the  pillars  of  the 
Church  were  excited  to  cause  its  fall.  So  elated  was  the 
king  with  this  his  triumph,  that  in  his  own  family  he 
he  could  not  refrain  from  naming  those  of  the  cardinals 
who  had  accepted  his  pestilential  gold,  and  those  who 
were  his  agents,  in  dispensing  to  some  more  to  some  less, 
according  to  the  zeal  they  had  shown  in  subverting 
justice. 

"When  we  were  at  Montmirail,  the   king  of  France 


BECKET.  181 

learned  that  a  messenger  from  his  lordship,  John  of 
Naples,  had  gone  over  from  his  camp  to  the  king  of 
England,  and  the  other  persecutors  of  the  Church. 

"  The  religious  who  take  part  with  the  king  of  England, 
when  they  heard  the  aforesaid  letters,  were  sad  beyond 
measure,  and  uttered  imprecations  against  John  of  Naples, 
and  John  of  St  John  and  St  Paul,  who  were  said  to  have 
seduced  his  lordship  the  pope.  M.  Geoffrey,  of  Poictiers, 
a  cleric  of  my  lord  cardinal  William,  did  not  consent  to 
the  counsel  and  practices  of  the  king's  ambassadors,  (for 
he  himself  too  is  waiting  for  the  kingdom  of  God)  but 
openly  protested,  '  that  they  had  perjured  themselves, 
and  incurred  an  anathema ; '  inasmuch  as  they  had  sworn 
that  the  pope's  mandate  should  be  kept  secret,  and  that 
his  holiness  had  commanded  them  so  to  keep  it,  in  virtue 
of  their  obedience,  and  under  peril  of  an  anathema: 
whereas  they,  to  render  us  contemptible  and  our  friends 
disconsolate,  herald  forth  with  their  king  the  triumphs 
of  their  own  wickedness,  glorying  in  the  confusion  of  the 
Church. 

"  Would  that  my  lord  cardinals  were  within  hearing  of 
the  French ;  among  whom  it  has  become  a  proverb,  that 
the  princes  of  the  Church  are  faithless,  and  companions  of 
thieves,  '  Ecclesiae  principes  inrideles,  socii  furum;'  for 
that  they  authorise  the  plunder  of  Christ's  patrimony,  to 
share  in  it.  Would  that  you  likewise  could  hear  his  most 
christian  majesty,  who,  as  I  fear,  is  now  irrevocably  deter- 
mined, at  the  solicitation  of  the  emperor,  to  contract  a 
marriage  between  their  children.  Earl  Henry  is  urging 
this,  and  entertains  great  hopes  of  succeeding. 

"And  now  I  entreat  you,  use  your  influence  with  his 
lordship  the  pope,  urging  him  to  act  the  part  of  a  judge. 
Let  him  absolve  the  innocent  who  is  bound  without  cause, 
and  condemn  the  impious  who  is  now  displaying  to  the 
whole  world  his  prowess  as  a  persecutor.  Endeavour  also 
to  procure  an  injunction  against  the  archbishop  of  York, 
that  he  may  be  compelled  to  show  deference  and  subjection 
to  the  suffering  Church  of  Canterbury." 

VOL.  II.  q 


182  BECKET. 

The  conduct  of  the  pope  was  still  as  inconsistent  as  it 
had  been  all  along :  although  he  thus  gave  a  triumph  to 
Henry,  he  still  feared  to  provoke  Becket  beyond  endurance ; 
and  while  writing  to  the  bishops  of  our  church  admitting 
their  appeal,  he  censured  them  severely  for  their  disobedi- 
ence to  their  metropolitan.  But  the  most  extraordinary 
thing  was  that  in  writing  to  Becket  to  console  him,  he 
mentioned  a  little  fact  of  a  very  consolatory  nature  which 
by  artifice  or  accident  he  had  forgotten  to  mention  to 
Henry,  namely  that  the  suspension  was  only  to  last  till 
Lent.  Becket  did  not  fail  to  express  his  feelings  of  indig- 
nation to  the  pope,  to  whom,  in  ignorance  of  his  rights 
as  an  independent  archbishop,  he  had  yielded  already 
too  much.  The  following  extracts  from  the  archbishop's 
letter  will  show  the  state  of  his  feelings  : 

"  Holy  father,  it  is  an  easy  matter  to  suspend  the 
powers  of  our  office,  but  not  so  easy  to  arrest  the  right 
arm  of  our  God,  which  is  now  bowing  the  heads  of  tyrants. 
Your  faithful  ones  fear  much,  that,  while  you  wait  better 
times  for  the  execution  of  justice,  the  best  may  slip  away 
from  you.  Our  enemies  are  now  in  a  strait.  He  who 
terrifies  is  himself  more  terrified.  '  Be  comforted,'  saith 
the  Lord,  '  and  be  strong,  and  fear  not  their  faces,  for  I 
am  with  thee.' 

"  O,  my  father,  my  soul  is  in  bitterness ;  the  letters  in 
which  your  holiness  was  pleased  to  suspend  me,  have 
made  myself  and  my  unhappy  fellow-exiles,  a  very  scorn 
of  men  and  outcast  of  the  people ;  and  what  grieves  me 
worse,  have  delivered  up  God's  Church  to  the  will  of  its 
enemies. 

"  Our  persecutor  had  held  out  sure  hopes  to  the  earl  of 
Flanders,  and  others  of  the  French  nobility,  that  he  meant 
to  make  peace  with  us.  But  his  messengers  arrived  with 
their  new  powers  from  your  holiness,  and  all  was  at  an 
end. 

"  What  could  our  friends  do  for  us  when  thus  repulsed 
by  your  holiness's  act,  and  smitten  down  as  with  the  club 
of  Hercules  ? 


BECKET.  183 

'•  Would  that  your  holiness's  ears  could  hear  what  is  said 
of  this  matter  by  the  bishops,  nobles,  and  commons  of 
both  realms ;  and  that  your  eye  could  see  the  scandal 
with  which  it  has  filled  the  French  court. 

"  But  your  holiness  counsels  me  to  bear  with  patience 
the  meanwhile 

"  And  do  you  not  observe,  0  father,  what  this  mean- 
while may  bring  about,  to  the  injury  of  the  Church  and 
of  your  holiness's  reputation? 

"  Meanwhile,  he  applies  to  his  own  purposes  the  reve- 
nues of  the  vacant  abbeys  and  bishoprics,  and  will  not 
suffer  pastors  to  be  ordained  there  :  meanwhile,  he  riots 
in  uncontrolled  insolence  against  the  parishes,  churches, 
holy  places,  and  the  whole  sacred  order :  meanwhile,  he 
and  the  other  persecutors  of  the  Church,  make  their  will 
their  law :  meanwhile,  who  is  to  take  charge  of  the  sheep 
of  Christ,  and  save  them  from  the  jaws  of  wolves,  who  no 
longer  prowl  around,  but  have  entered  the  fold,  and  devour, 
and  tear,  and  slay,  with  none  to  resist  them  ?  For  what 
pastor  is  there  whose  voice  you  have  not  silenced  ?  what 
bishop  have  you  not  suspended  in  suspending  me  ? 

"  This  act  of  your  holiness's  is  alike  unexampled  and 
unmerited,  and  will  do  the  work  of  tyrants  in  other  days 
as  well  as  yours.  Your  holiness  has  set  an  example  ready 
to  their  hands  ;  and  doubtless  this  man  and  his  posterity, 
unless  your  holiness  take  steps  to  order  otherwise,  will 
draw  it  into  a  precedent.  He  and  his  nobles,  whatever 
be  their  crime,  will  claim  among  the  privileges  of  the 
realm,  exemption  from  any  sentence  of  excommunication 
or  interdict,  till  authorized  by  the  apostolic  see ;  then  in 
time,  when  the  evil  has  taken  root,  neither  will  the  chief 
priest  of  Rome  himself  find  any  in  the  whole  kingdom,  to 
take  part  with  him  against  the  king  and  his  princes. 

"  And  yet  I  doubt  not  that  this  struggle  for  the  Church's 
liberty  would  long  ago  have  been  brought  to  a  close,  unless 
his  wilfulness,  not  to  use  a  harsher  term,  had  found 
patrons  in  the  church  of  Rome.  God  requite  them  as  is 
best  for  His  Church  and  for  themselves.     The  Almighty 


184  BECEET. 

all-just  Lord  God  judge  between  me  and  them.  Little 
should  I  have  needed  their  patronage,  if  I  had  chosen  to 
forsake  the  Church,  and  yield  to  his  wilfulness  myself.  I 
might  have  flourished  in  wealth  and  abundance  of  deli- 
cacies ;  I  might  have  been  feared,  courted,  honoured,  and 
might  have  provided  for  my  own  in  luxury  and  worldly 
glory,  as  I  pleased.  But  because  God  called  me  to  the 
government  of  His  Church,  an  unworthy  sinner  as  I  was, 
and  most  wretched,  though  flourishing  in  the  world's  goods 
beyond  all  my  countrymen,  through  His  grace  preventing 
and  assisting  me,  I  chose  rather  to  be  an  outcast  from  the 
palace,  to  be  exiled,  proscribed,  and  to  finish  my  life  in  the 
last  wretchedness,  than  to  sell  the  Church's  liberty,  and 
to  prefer  the  iniquitous  traditions  of  men,  to  the  law 
of  God. 

"  Such  a  course  be  for  those  who  promise  themselves 
many  days,  and  in  the  consciousness  of  their  deserts,  ex- 
pect better  times.  For  myself,  I  know  that  my  own  days 
are  few ;  and  that  unless  I  declare  to  the  wicked  man  his 
ways,  his  blood  will  shortly  be  required  at  my  hands,  by 
One  from  whom  no  patronage  can  protect  me. 

•  There  silver  and  gold  will  be  profitless,  and  gifts  that 
blind  the  eyes  of  wise  ones. 

■•  We  shall  soon  stand  all  of  us  before  the  tribunal  of 
Christ,  and  by  His  majesty  and  terrible  judgment  I  con- 
jure your  holiness,  as  my  father  and  lord,  and  as  the 
supreme  judge  on  earth,  to  render  justice  to  His  Church, 
and  to  myself,  against  those  who  seek  my  life  to  take  it 
away." 

While  Becket  was  remonstrating,  anl  the  king  of  France 
shewing  his  disgust  at  Alexander's  conduct,  Henry  was 
turning  the  license  which  had  been  given  him  to  a  practical 
account.  He  had  already  alienated  many  of  the  lands  and 
-sions  of  the  church  of  Canterbury,  besides  commit- 
ting wanton  destruction  on  what  was  left,  and  had  begun 
to  levy  exactions  from  the  whole  body  of  the  clergy,  and 
was  proceeding  to  further  acts  of  violence,  when  the  pope 
began  to  see  the  necessity  of  retracing  his  steps.     He  ap- 


BECKET.  1-:. 

pointed  an  embassy  for  the  purpose  of  remonstrating  with 
Henry  and  pressing  him  to  reconciliation,  on  peril  of  the 
sentence  of  the  Church  which  would  otherwise  inevitably 
fall  upon  him,  when  the  restraint  at  present  imposed 
upon  the  archbishop  was  removed.  This  appointment 
took  place  towards  the  close  of  the  year  1168,  the  en- 
voys chosen  being  Simon,  prior  of  Montdieu.  Engelbert, 
prior  of  Le  Val  de  St  Pierre,  and  Bernard,  a  monk  of 
GrammoDt. 

Through  the  intercession   of  these  envoys  Beckt- 
persuaded  to  present  himself  before  Henry  at  Montmirail, 
where  the  kings  of  France  and  England  had  met  in  c 
ence  to  settle  their  political  differences  :  though  in  attend- 
ing the  conference  the  archbishop  himself  felt  no 
tation  of  a  satisfactory  result.      Henry  in  appearance  gave 
way  and  made  concessions.   The  constitutions  of  Clarendon 
were  not  mentioned  by  name ;  but  then   Becket  was  re- 
quired to  swear  that  he  would  keep  to  the  ancient  customs 
of  the  realm.     He  consented  to  do  this  with  the  clause. 
savin rf  his  order,  and  as  far  as  his  duty  to  God  permitted  : 
the  king  demanded  the  oath  absolutely  and  without 
ditions:  and  they  parted  without  coming  to  terms.     The 
impression  on  most  panics  seems  to  have  been  that  Becket 
had  acted  with  obstinacy  rather  than  firmness*     The  king 
of  France,  who  had  endeavoured  to  persuade  him  to  yield. 
seemed  to  be  irritated  against  him.    and  his  dependants 
began  to  murmur. 

But  Becket.  unintimidated,  had  recourse  again  to  - 
rity.  On  all  sides,  he  spread  his  censures,  suspending 
and  excommunicating  many,  but  those  particularly  who 
had  pillaged,  or  who  kept  possession  of  the  effects  be- 
longing to  his  see.  Among  these  was  the  bishop  of 
London,  whom  before,  it  seems,  he  had  suspended, 
general  was  the  sentence,  that  scarcely  among  the  king's 
chaplains  was  there  one,  from  whom,  at  mass,  he  could 
take  the  kiss  of  peace.  Fearful  that  the  anathema  might 
reach  them,  the  prelates  of  the  realm  and  the  nobles 
Q.9 


186  BECKET. 

reiterated  their  appeals  to  Rome ;  and  the  king  again  sent 
messengers  to  the  pontiff,  namely,  the  archdeacons  of 
Salisbury  and  Landaff." 

The  pope  expressed  himself  towards  Becket  with  con- 
siderable displeasure  at  these  violent  proceedings,  and 
advised  him  to  suspend  the  sentence  he  had  pronounced 
against  the  dignitaries  of  the  realm,  in  order  to  mitigate 
the  king's  wrath  till  he  should  hear  from  the  papal  envoys 
whether  the  king  would  realize  his  promise  of  recalling 
him.  The  matter,  in  the  end,  was  handed  over,  as  all  other 
points  at  issue,  to  an  embassy,  the  third  which  had  been 
appointed  in  the  course  of  the  two  last  years.  The  nuncios 
appointed  were  Gratian  and  Vivian,  men  learned  in  the 
laws,  and  of  great  reputation  in  the  Roman  court.  They 
were  bound  by  oath  not  to  accept  any  present  from  Henry, 
and  they  came  with  a  form  of  agreement  prescribed  by 
Alexander,  and  if  the  king  would  not  consent  to  it,  they 
were  ordered  to  leave  him. 

Their  first  interview  with  the  king  was  at  Donefront  in 
Normandy  which  led  to  no  satisfactory  result,  both  parties 
separating  in  anger ;  but  at  a  conference  held  soon  after  at 
Baieux  the  nuncios  were  more  successful,  and  Henry  ex- 
pressed his  readiness  to  permit  Becket  to  return  to  his 
see,  and  to  take  the  archbishop  and  his  friends  once  more 
into  favour.  But  peace  was  not  yet  restored.  The  form 
of  reconciliation  remained  to  be  settled,  and  the  king  in- 
sisted that  the  words,  saving  the  dignity  of  his  kingdom, 
should  be  inserted.  "  That  was  but  a  softer  name  for  the 
customs  of  Clarendon,"  observed  the  primate's  friends, 
and  proposed  that  the  counter-clause,  saving  the  dignity 
of  the  Church,  should  then  be  admitted.  Assemblies 
were  held;  discussions  full  of  acrimony  were  revived;  and 
neither  party  would  recede.  Michaelmas,  in  the  mean 
time,  approached,  when  the  commission  of  the  nuncios 
expired,  and  Gratian,  weary  of  the  fruitless  negociation, 
prepared  to  return  into  Italy.     Vivian  remained. 

The  king  had  more  confidence  in  Vivian,  imagining, 


BECKET.  187 

after  the  departure  of  his  colleague,  that  he  might  be  pre- 
vailed on  to  adopt  his  measures.  He  proposed  to  meet 
him  at  St  Denys,  to  which  place  Vivian  entreated  that 
Becket  also  would  repair,  being  convinced,  from  some  ex- 
pressions of  Henry,  that  an  accommodation  would  now  be 
effected.  The  primate  very  reluctantly  consented,  and 
came  to  Corbeil.  At  St  Denys,  where  the  two  kings  again 
met  on  some  public  business,  Vivian,  in  vain,  laboured  to 
extort  from  Henry  a  final  compliance  with  the  promise, 
he  thought  he  had  made  him.  His  answers  were  evasive; 
and  the  Italian  finding  himself  duped,  did  not  restrain 
his  anger:  "  So  lying  a  prince,"  said  he,  "  I  never  heard 
or  saw."  They  parted  ;  and  the  king,  passing  by  Mont- 
martre,  was  visited  by  Becket.  The  archbishop  of  Rouen, 
with  other  mediators,  spoke  for  the  primate ;  requesting 
in  his  name,  that  to  him  and  his  friends  he  would  give 
peace,  permit  their  return,  and  restore  their  possessions 
to  them :  "  while  the  primate,  on  his  side,  they  said,  was 
ready  to  do  all  that  an  archbishop  owed  to  his  prince." 
After  some  conversation,  which  seemed  to  promise  a  happy 
issue,  the  petition  was  reduced  to  writing,  when  Becket 
added  that,  as  a  pledge  of  favour  and  greater  security,  he 
hoped  he  might  be  reconciled  to  the  king  by  a  kiss  of 
peace.  This  was  a  customary  form  in  reconciliations. 
The  petition  was  read,  and  much  approved;  but  again  the 
king  had  recourse  to  evasions,  using  a  circuitous  language, 
which,  while  it  seemed  to  grant  every  thing,  was,  in  fact, 
loaded  with  inadmissible  conditions.  "  And  as  to  the 
kiss  of  peace,"  said  he,  "willingly  I  would  grant  the 
pledge,  had  I  not  publicly  sworn  in  my  anger  never  to  do 
it,  though  concord  were  restored  betwixt  us."  Thus  ended 
the  treaty ;  for  the  king  of  France  and  many  others 
strongly  advised  the  primate  not  to  return  to  his  see, 
unless  Henry  gave  this  easy  token  of  peace. 

The  year  116U  closed  without  any  reconciliation  being 
effected  between  the  king  and  the  primate.  But  Henry, 
knowing  the  firmness  and  determination  of  Becket,  was 
now  in  no  little  alarm  lest  his  kingdom  should  be  placed 


188  BECKET. 

under  an  interdict.  He  sent  therefore  an  edict  into 
England  purporting,  that  if  any  person  should  be  found 
carrying  any  mandate  from  the  archbishop  or  the  pope, 
whereby  an  interdict  should  be  laid  on  the  country,  he 
should  be  treated  as  a  traitor  to  the  king  and  kingdom. 
He  also  in  1170  procured  the  coronation  of  his  son  Henry, 
a  ceremony  at  which  the  archbishop  of  York  officiated, 
though  it  was  the  province,  by  prescription,  of  the  arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury  ;  and  thus  he  again  placed  himself 
in  the  wrong,  and  afforded  a  new  grievance,  of  which 
Becket  justly  complained.  The  policy  of  this  measure 
has  been  amply  but  unsatisfactorily  discussed  by  modern 
historians;  perhaps  Henry  supposed  that  by  having  his  son 
anointed,  if  he  himself  were  excommunicated,  there  would 
be  a  way  through  his  son  of  evading  the  interdict.  But 
whatever  may  have  been  the  policy  of  the  measure,  Henry 
now  perceived  difficulties  increasing  around  him,  and  that 
nothing  but  a  reconciliation  with  Becket  would  restore 
him  to  peace.  He  was  tired  of  the  controversy,  and  acted 
as  impetuously  in  seeking  a  recouciliation  as  he  had  when 
commencing  the  quarrel. 

The  pope  had  previously  issued  a  new  commission  to 
Rotrodus  or  Rotrou  archbishop  of  Rouen,  and  Bernard 
bishop  of  Nevers,  who  were  ordered  to  wait  upon  Henry, 
and  to  admonish  him  to  permit  Becket  to  return  to  his 
see,  to  restore  to  him  and  his  friends  their  possessions 
with  full  security,  and  to  be  reconciled  to  him  with  the 
kiss  of  peace :  if  he  refused  they  were  directed  to  lay  all 
his  dominions  in  France  under  an  interdict ;  but  if  a 
prospect  of  accommodation  appeared,  they  were  authorized 
to  absolve  the  excommunicated,  and  to  exhort  the  king  to 
abolish  the  evil  customs  of  his  kingdom.  Alexander  had 
received  an  intimation  that  to  these  terms  Henry  would 
submit,  and  before  he  left  England  the  king  assured  the 
nuncios  that  nothing  should  on  his  side  frustrate  the 
treaty. 

The  king  and  the  archbishop  met  by  agreement  in  a 
meadow  near  the  town  of  Freitville,  on  the  borders  of 


BECKET.  189 

Touraine,  where  he  had  held  a  conference  and  settled  his 
differences  with  the  king  of  France.  As  soon  as  Becket 
appeared,  the  king  spurring  forward  his  horse  with  his 
cap  in  his  hand,  prevented  his  salutation,  and  as  if  no 
dissention  had  ever  divided  them,  discoursed  with  him 
apart  with  all  that  easy  familiarity  which  had  distinguished 
their  former  friendship.  The  crowd  of  spectators  was 
vast,  and  all  viewed  the  transaction  with  pleasure.  With 
much  gentleness,  the  primate  exhorted  Henry  to  retrieve 
his  reputation  which  had  suffered,  and  to  make  satisfaction 
to  the  Church.  The  king  assented.  Becket  then  spoke  of 
the  late  coronation,  which  he  represented  as  an  enormous 
derogation  from  the  rights  of  Canterbury,  and  histori- 
cally detailed  the  uniform  practice  from  the  conquest. 
"I  doubt  not,"  said  Henry,  "but  your  see  is  the  most 
noble  amongst  the  western  churches  ;  nor  is  it  my  wish 
to  deprive  it  of  its  rights ;  rather,  as  you  shall  advise,  I 
will  strive  to  repair  the  evil,  and  to  restore  to  Canterbury 
its  pristine  dignity.  But  to  those  who  hitherto  have 
betrayed  both  you  and  me,  I  will,  by  the  blessing  of  God, 
make  such  an  answer,  as  the  deserts  of  traitors  demand." 
At  the  words,  Becket  sprang  from  his  horse,  and  threw 
himself  before  the  king;  but  he,  seizing  the  stirrup,  forced 
him  to  remount,  and  said,  as  the  tears  fell  from  his  eyes  : 
"  My  lord  archbishop,  why  many  words  ?  Let  us  restore 
to  each  other  our  former  affection,  and  in  mutual  good 
offices,  forget  every  cause  of  rancour.  But  shew  me 
honour,  I  beg,  before  those  yonder,  who  have  their  eyes 
turned  towards  us."  With  this,  leaving  Becket,  he  rode 
up  to  the  company,  and  observing  some  there  who  had 
been  promoters  of  the  late  quarrel,  he  spoke  :  "  If,  when 
I  find  the  primate  full  of  all  good  dispositions  in  my 
regard,  I  were  not  reciprocally  good  to  him,  truly,  I 
should  be  the  worst  of  men,  and  prove  that  to  be  true, 
which  is  said  of  me.  There  cannot  be  any  counsel  more 
honourable  or  useful  to  me,  than  that  I  should  strive  to 
go  before  him  in  kindness,  and  surpass  him  in  the  general 


190  BECKET. 

practice  of  beneficence."  The  address  was  received  with 
the  warmest  plaudits. 

He  sent  to  the  primate,  who  remained  at  a  distance, 
desiring  he  would  now,  in  the  face  of  the  assembly,  state 
his  petition.  The  bishops  who  bore  the  message,  advised 
him  to  submit  himself  and  his  cause  to  the  king's  plea- 
sure ;  but  he  declined  their  counsel,  and  they  left  him. 
He  then  deliberated  with  his  friends,  the  companions 
principally  of  his  exile ;  and  having  adjusted  the  terms, 
they  all  moved  towards  the  king,  who  stood  surrounded  by 
his  attendants.  In  the  name  of  Becket,  the  archbishop 
of  Sens  spoke,  and  petitioned,  "that  he  would  restore  to 
the  primate  his  royal  favour,  peace  and  security  to  him 
and  his,  with  the  church  of  Canterbury,  and  the  posses- 
sions belonging  to  it,  as  set  down  in  a  writing  the  king 
had  seen ;  that  he  would  be  graciously  pleased  to  amend, 
what  had  been  presumptuously  done  against  him  and  his 
church,  in  the  late  coronation ;  while,  on  his  side,  the 
primate  promised  love  and  honour,  and  whatever  service 
can  be  performed  in  the  Lord,  by  an  archbishop,  to  his 
sovereign." — "  I  agree  to  all,"  replied  the  monarch,  "  and 
the  primate  and  his  friends  I  again  take  into  favour." 

A  long  and  private  conversation,  with  the  familiarity  of 
ancient  friendship,  now  took  place  between  them ;  and 
only  as  night  approached,  they  parted,  having  agreed,  that 
Becket  should  first  wait  on  the  French  king  and  his  other 
benefactors,  as  gratitude  required  ;  and  then  make  some 
stay  with  Henry,  before  he  returned  into  England,  that 
the  world  might  learn  how  sincere  their  reconciliation  was. 
They  were  departing,  when  it  was  proposed  to  Becket,  that 
he  should  absolve  the  excommunicated,  shewing  to  others 
the  indulgence,  which  himself  had  just  experienced.  He 
observed,  that  the  cases  were  very  different,  there  being 
some  in  that  number  whom  the  pope  and  other  bishops 
had  suspended,  and  whose  crimes  were  of  various  descrip- 
tions .  "But  being  willing  to  shew  mercy  to  all,"  said  he, 
41 1  will  take  the  advice  of  my  king,  and  proceed  as  shall 


BECKET.  191 

seem  most  expedient."  Apprehensive  that  an  altercation 
might  ensue,  Henry  drew  the  primate  from  the  crowd,  and 
requesting  he  would  not  heed  the  discourses  of  such  men, 
he  begged  his  benediction,  and  they  all  retired. 

Soon  after  the  conference,  as  they  had  been  empowered, 
the  commissioners  absolved  the  excommunicated ;  and 
Becket  despatched  agents  to  take  possession  of  the  lands 
and  the  effects  of  his  see ;  for  the  king  had  sent  letters 
patent  to  his  son,  whereby  he  was  commanded  to  make  an 
ample  restitution  of  all  things,  as  they  had  been  possessed 
three  months  before  the  prirnate  departed  from  England. 
But  it  was  the  interest  of  many  not  to  comply  with  these 
injunctions.  They  had  long  received  the  great  revenues 
of  the  see,  and  were  not  disposed  to  relinquish  them.  Ex- 
cuses therefore  were  made,  difficulties  were  raised,  the 
young  king  was  imposed  upon,  and  the  day  of  restitution 
was  put  off.  In  the  mean  time,  greater  extortions  were 
committed,  and  the  produce  of  the  lands,  and  the  furni- 
ture of  houses  and  castles,  were  consumed  or  conveyed  to 
a  distance.     So  the  agents  reported. 

Becket  did  not  see  the  king  again  for  several  weeks, 
and  when  he  waited  upon  him  at  Tours  he  was  received 
with  a  marked  coolness ;  and  the  king,  being  pressed 
to  execute  the  terms  of  peace,  he  told  Becket  to  go  to 
England,  and  that  his  possessions  would  be  restored. 
A  few  days  after,  he  met  him  at  Chaumont  near  Blois, 
when  Henry,  with  great  kindness,  conversed  with  him ; 
and  it  was  finally  agreed,  that  he  should  immediately 
return  to  Canterbury.  But  it  was  evident,  that  the 
king's  heart  was  altered,  and  that  he  felt  no  longer  the 
warmth  of  returning  affection,  which  he  had  expressed 
at  Freitville.  From  that  time  two  months  had  elapsed. 
The  change  might  be  owing  to  many  causes,  (if  ever  his 
professions  were  sincere,)  but  principally  it  arose  from  the 
representations  of  those,  who  were  interested  in  the  pro- 
longation of  the  quarrel,  or  who,  from  enmity  to  Becket, 
wished  he  might  never  return. 

These  proceedings  forced  Becket  to  complain  again  to 


19Q  BECKET. 

the  court  of  Rome,  and  he  now  received  the  support  in 
that  quarter  which  he  had  long  desired,  but  sought  for  in 
vain.  The  court  of  Rome,  with  its  usual  policy,  aided 
Becket  when  they  perceived  the  cause  of  Becket  to  be  the 
strongest.  The  pope  of  Rome  was  now  fully  prepared 
to  support  the  primate  of  Canterbury,  if  the  latter  laid 
England  under  an  interdict,  and  he  was  advised  to  do  so 

o 

if  Henry  still  continued  to  violate  his  engagements.  All 
occupiers  of  church  lands  were  ordered  to  make  restitution 
on  pain  of  excommunication ;  and  the  bishops  who  had 
assisted  at  the  coronation  of  prince  Henry  were  suspended, 
both  on  account  of  the  irregularity  of  their  proceedings, 
and  because  they  allowed  the  omission  of  the  oath  for 
maintaining  the  liberty  of  the  Church,  and  had  themselves 
sworn  to  observe  the  constitutions  of  Clarendon.  The 
bishops  of  London  and  Salisbury  also,  had  been  placed 
again  under  the  sentence  of  excommunication,  which 
Becket  had  pronounced,  and  which,  by  the  usurped  autho- 
rity of  the  see  of  Rome,  had  been  removed  through  the 
management  of  John  of  Oxford.  It  is  impossible  not  to 
regret  the  entire  submission  which  Becket  exhibited  to 
the  see  of  Rome,  contrary  to  the  canons  of  the  Church 
universal,  and  the  more  so  as  he  had  the  wisdom  to  see 
that  the  court  of  Rome  ^as  now  as  injudicious  in  its 
support,  as  it  had  been  before  unjust  in  its  interference 
between  him  and  the  king.  So  strong,  indeed,  were  the 
threatened  proceedings  of  the  pope  at  this  time,  that 
Becket  for  once  was  obliged  to  be  moderator,  and  actually 
withheld  some  letters,  which  gave  him  an  authority  to 
exercise  greater  severity  than  he  considered  wise  and 
prudent. 

It  would  have  been  well  if  Becket  had  continued  to  act 
with  this  prudence.  But  while  he  was  at  Witsand,  pre- 
paring to  sail  for  England,  information  was  brought  him 
that  the  three  prelates,  Roger  of  York,  Gilbert  of  London, 
and  Joscelin  of  Salisbury,  who  knew  that  the  archbishop 
carried  with  him  papal  letters  for  their  suspension,  which 
he  might  use  at  any  time,  had  sent  to  the  coast  Ranulf  de 


BECKET.  193 

Broc,  with  a  party  of  soldiers,  to  search  him  on  his 
landing,  and  to  take  them  from  him.  In  a  moment  of 
irritation  Becket  despatched  them  before  himself  by  a 
trusty  messenger,  by  whom,  or  by  whose  means,  they  were 
delivered  publicly  to  the  bishops  in  the  presence  of  their 
attendants.  Thus  had  Becket  before  reaching  England 
rendered  a  reconciliation  with  these  powerful  prelates  im- 
possible. He  knew  his  difficulties  ;  he  was  forewarned  of 
his  danger.  The  sarcasms  with  which  the  king  of  Eng- 
land still  refused  the  kiss  of  peace,  which  was  really  a  part 
of  his  promise,  shewed  that  he  meditated  hostile  proceed- 
ings against  the  archbishop;  and  it  was  against  the  advice 
of  all  that  Becket  returned  to  England  before  this  formality 
had  been  conceded.  To  the  friendly  advice  of  some  who 
came  to  him  with  no  false  reports  of  deadly  preparations 
to  receive  him  on  the  shores  of  Kent,  he  answered  :  "Did 
you  tell  me  that  I  was  to  be  torn  limb  from  limb  I  would 
not  regard  it ;  for  I  am  resolved  that  nothing  shall  hinder 
my  return.  Seven  years  are  long  enough  for  a  pastor  to 
have  been  absent  from  the  Lord's  sorrowing  flock.  I  only 
ask  my  friends,  and  a  last  request  should  be  attended  to, 
that  if  I  shall  not  return  to  my  church  alive,  they  will 
carry  me  into  it,  dead." 

He  embarked  on  the  festival  of  St  Andrew,  1170,  and 
after  a  prosperous  voyage  landed  in  Sandwich  harbour  on 
the  first  of  December.  He  avoided  Dover  for  reasons 
assigned  before.  He  was  received  by  the  clergy  and  peo- 
ple with  unbounded  attestations  of  joy.  The  Church 
was  still  the  people's  party.  She  was  the  protector  of  the 
rights  and  liberties  of  the  people,  and  was  in  the  middle 
ages,  as  in  the  primitive  ages  after  the  time  of  Constantine, 
always  popular,  but  never  more  so  than  when  resisting 
the  tyrannical  acts  of  an  unjust  government.  The  Church 
was  then  powerful :  and  it  was  because  Becket  was  at  the 
head  of  a  body  thus  powerful,  that  Henry,  while  he  hated, 
dared  not  openly  to  attack  him.  It  was  not  till  the  Church 
succumbed  to  the  state,   and  sought  to  become  an  aristo- 

VOL.   IT,  n 


194  BECKET. 

cratic  corporation  that  her  power  -was  lost,  and  her  means 
of  benefiting  mankind  curtailed.  On  the  3rd  of  Decem- 
ber Becket  entered  Canterbury,  "  all  the  inhabitants," 
says  Fitz-Stephen,  a  witness  of  the  fact,  "  rejoiced,  from 
the  greatest  to  the  least :  they  decked  out  the  cathedral ; 
dressed  themselves  in  silks  and  expensive  clothing ;  pre- 
pared a  public  entertainment :  a  numerous  procession 
attended  the  archbishop  into  the  town  :  the  churches  re- 
sounded with  chants  and  anthems,  and  the  halls  with 
trumpets  :  every  where  there  were  sounds  of  rejoicing. 
His  lordship  preached  a  most  instructive  sermon  on  the 
text,  "  Here  we  have  no  continuing  city,  but  seek  one  to 
come."  After  he  had  been  eight  days  in  England  he  set 
out  to  wait  upon  the  young  king,  whom  he  had  brought  up 
as  boy,  and  for  whom  he  had  prepared  splendid  presents. 
On  his  entering  London  Fitz-Stephen  informs  us  that  "  a 
vast  multitude  of  clergy,  and  others,  both  men  and  women, 
came  out  to  welcome  him  back  from  exile,  and  to  bless 
God  for  his  return.  The  poor  scholars  and  the  clergy  of 
the  London  churches,  had  drawn  themselves  up  in  order 
about  three  miles  from  the  city,  and  when,  immediately 
on  his  approach,  with  a  loud  and  clear  voice,  they  began 
the  hymn  Te  Deum  Laudamus,  there  was  scarcely  a  per- 
son present  who  could  refrain  from  weeping.  He  himself 
bowed  his  head  in  gratitude,  and  caused  a  large  alms  to 
be  distributed.  When  he  had  arrived  at  the  church  and 
dismounted,  the  canons,  who  met  him  in  procession  at 
the  porch,  sung  the  first  verse  of  the  hymn,  '  Blessed  is 
the  Lord  God  of  Israel,'  and  the  whole  multitude,  laity 
and  clergy,  young  and  old,  took  up  the  response." 

Little  did  the  people  know  that  the  honest  expression 
of  their  joy  at  receiving  their  pastor  again,  only  served  to 
exasperate  the  enemies  of  the  primate.  The  courtiers, 
wTho  dreaded  the  influence  of  the  archbishop  over  the 
mind  of  his  former  pupil,  procured  a  peremptory  order  for 
him  to  return  and  confine  himself  to  his  diocese.  He 
obeyed,  and   spent  the  following  days  in  prayer  and  the- 


BECKET.  195 

functions  of  his  station.  Yet  they  were  days  of  distress 
and  anxiety.  The  menaces  of  his  enemies  seemed  to 
derive  strength  from  each  succeeding  event.  His  pro- 
visions were  hourly  intercepted ;  his  property  plundered  ; 
his  servants  were  beaten  and  insulted.  He  looked  in  vain 
for  support  where  he  had  most  right  to  expect  it. 

It  has  been  stated  that  the  port  of  Dover,  and  other 
ports,  where  the  archbishop  was  expected  to  land,  had 
been  watched.  It  is  hardly  fair  to  consider  those  who 
undertook  this  office  as  a  mere  party  of  assassins,  as  is 
done  by  some  historians.  It  was  reported  that  the  arch- 
bishop was  bringing  with  him  mandates  from  the  pope, 
and  this  was  contrary  to  the  laws  of  the  land.  They  were 
obeying  the  king  when  they  determined  to  search  the 
archbishop.  But  on  the  day  after  the  archbishop's  first 
arrival  at  Canterbury,  these  parties  came  into  the  presence 
of  the  primate,  and  demanded  the  absolution  of  those 
who  had  been  excommunicated.  The  bishops  of  London 
and  Salisbury  would  have  submitted,  but  were  persuaded 
by  the  prelate  of  York,  who  boasted  that  he  had  £8,000 
in  his  treasure-box,  wherewith  to  harass  the  archbishop  of 
Canterbury,  and  assured  his  two  brethren  that,  if  they 
were  reconciled  with  Becket,  the  royal  hands  would  soon 
be  laid  upon  their  temporals.  This  warning  took  such  an 
effect  upon  the  two  prelates,  that  they  joined  with  the 
archbishop  of  York,  and  immediately  passed  over  to  Henry 
in  Normandy,  and  made  bitter  complaints  against  the 
primate,  on  account  of  their  excommunication,  for  the 
part  they  had  taken  in  the  young  king's  coronation. 
"  Truly,"  answered  Henry,  with  an  oath,  "  if  all  who  took 
part  in  that  business  are  excommunicated,  I  myself  am 
not  excluded."'  The  three  prelates  continued  day  by  day 
to  urge  him,  till  his  anger  knew  no  bounds ;  and  it  is 
well  known  that  Henry,  when  under  the  influence  of  rage, 
was  wont  to  sink  far  below  human  nature. 

Others  there  were  who  were  continually  misrepresenting 
the  actions  of  the  archbishop  to  the  king.  On  his  way 
back  from  London  to  Canterbury,   he  was  attended  bv  a 


106  BECKET 

slight  escort,  as  a  precaution  against  freebooters.  There 
were  in  all  "  five  shields,  swords,  and  lances  in  his  train." 
It  was  immediately  told  Henry  that  he  was  making  a 
circuit  of  the  kingdom  at  the  head  of  a  large  army,  arrayed 
in  helmets  and  coats  of  mail,  that  he  was  besieging  towns, 
and  meditated  driving  the  young  king  out  of  the  country. 
At  Canterbury  he  dismissed  his  five  soldiers.  The  king's 
fury  was  fanned  into  resistless  violence.  He  sought 
council  of  his  prelates  and  barons  :  "  My  lord,"  said  one, 
11  while  Thomas  lives  you  can  have  no  peace."  With  such 
violence  of  gesture  as  sufficiently  spoke  his  meaning,  the 
king  replied, — "  Of  the  caitiffs  who  eat  my  bread,  is  there 
none  to  free  me  from  this  turbulent  priest." 

Four  barons, — Reginald  Fitzurse,  William  de  Tracey 
Hugo  de  MoreviUe,  and  Richard  Bryto  left  the  court. 

On  Christmas-day  the  archbishop  preached  at  Canter- 
bury with  his  usual  earnestness  and  animation :  at  the 
conclusion,  he  observed  that  those  who  thirsted  for  his 
blood  would  soon  be  satisfied,  but  that  he  must  first 
avenge  the  wrongs  of  the  Church,  by  excommunicating 
Ftanulf  and  Robert  de  Broc,  who  for  seven  years  had  not 
ceased  to  inflict  every  injury  in  their  power  on  him  and 
on  his  clergy. 

At  Saltwood,  the  residence  of  the  Brocs,  the  four  barons 
above  named  assembled  on  the  Tuesday  following,  to 
arrange  their  operations  for  carrying  into  effect  the  vow 
they  had  made,  either  to  carry  off  or  to  murder  the 
primate. 

The  next  day,  the  29th  of  December,  while  the  primate 
was  conversing  on  business  with  some  of  his  clergy,  after 
dinner,  the  knights  entered  his  apartment,  his  palace 
forming  part  of  Christ-church.  Neglecting  his  salutation, 
they  seated  themselves  on  the  floor.  It  seems  to  have 
been  their  wish  to  begin  by  intimidation  :  but  if  they 
hoped  to  succeed,  they  knew  little  of  the  intrepid  spirit 
of  their  opponent ;  and  yet  they  knew  him  well,  for  the 
atrocity  of  their  conduct  is  heightened  by  the  fact,  that  of 


BECKET.  107 

the  four  knights,  three  had,  in  the  days  of  his  prosperity, 
sworn  fealty  to  him. 

"  We  bring  you  orders  from  the  king,"  said  Reginald 
Fitzurse,  after  a  pause  of  silence :  "  will  you  hear  them  in 
"  public,  or  in  private?"  "  As  it  shall  please  you  best," 
replied  Becket.  "  In  private  then,"  rejoined  Reginald: 
on  which  the  company  was  told  to  quit  the  room.  But  he 
had  not  spoken  long,  when  the  primate  observed  that,  it 
would  be  well  that  others  should  hear  what  he  said  ;  and 
calling  to  his  clergy,  bade  them  to  return.  Reginald  pro- 
ceeded :  "  We  order  you,  in  the  king's  name,  to  go  to  his 
son,  and  pay  him  the  homage  which  is  due  to  your  lord." 
"  I  have  done  it,"  replied  Becket. — "  You  have  not," 
said  Reginald;  "for  you  have  suspended  his  bishops, 
which  looks  as  if  you  would  tear  the  crown  from  his 
head." — "  Many  crowns,  rather,  I  would  place  on  his 
head ;  and  as  to  the  bishops,  they  were  suspended  not  by 
me,  but  by  the  pope ;"  answered  the  primate. — "  The 
sentence  was  procured  by  you,"  he  rejoined. — Becket 
said ;  "  It  does  not  displease  me,  I  confess,  when  the 
pope  avenges  the  injuries  of  the  Church  and  my  own." 
He  then  spoke  of  the  insults  he  had  received,  and  of  the 
many  evils  to  which  his  own  possessions  and  those  of  his 
friends  had  been  exposed,  since  the  reconciliation  at 
Freitville.  "Had  you  brought  these  complaints  before  your 
peers,"  observed  Reginald,  interrupting  him,  "justice 
had  been  done  you." — "  I  have  experienced  the  contrary," 
replied  Becket:  "But,  Reginald  ;  you  and  more  than  two 
hundred  knights  were  present,  when  the  king  told  me, 
I  might  compel  those  to  make  satisfaction,  by  ecclesias- 
tical censures,  who  had  disturbed  the  peace  of  the  Church; 
nor  can  I  longer  dissemble  the  proper  discharge  of  my 
pastoral  duties." — The  knights  sprang  from  the  ground; 
"We  heard  no  such  words,"  exclaimed  they  :  "  but  these 
are  threats.  Honks ;  we  command  you  to  guard  this  man : 
if  he  escape,  you  shall  answer  for  him."  So  saying,  they 
went  out;  but  Becket  following  them  to  the  outward  door: 
r2 


198  BECKET. 

"  I  came  not  here  to  run  away,  gentlemen."  he  called  after 
them;  "nor  do  I  value  your  threats."  You  shall  find 
something  more  than  threats ;"  they  answered,  and  de- 
parted. 

"  It  is  wonderful,"  said  John  of  Salisbury,  when  they 
were  gone,  "  that  you  will  take  no  one's  advice.  Why 
still  irritate  those  miscreants  by  your  replies,  and  follow 
them  to  the  door?  We  could  have  advised  you  better." 
"  My  resolution  is  taken,"  answered  the  primate:  "  and  I 
well  know  what  I  should  do."  "  Heaven  grant  it  may 
he  successful ! "  rejoined  the  secretary. 

In  the  court  of  the  palace,  under  a  large  mulberry- 
tree,  the  knights  took  off  their  outer  garments,  and  ap- 
peared in  armour;  and  having  opened  the  door  to  the 
soldiers  they  had  brought  with  them,  they  all  seized  their 
arms,  and  again  entered  the  palace.  The  arms  the  knights 
bore,  were  an  axe  in  the  left  hand,  to  break  through  ob- 
stacles, if  necessary,  and  in  the  right  they  brandished 
their  naked  swords.  With  much  difficulty  the  primate 
had  been  prevailed  on  to  leave  his  apartment :  but  the 
monks,  whom  his  danger  had  alarmed,  insisted  on  it ; 
and  as  the  evening  service  had  begun,  they  led  him  to  the 
church.  With  a  slow  and  reluctant  step,  he  advanced 
through  the  cloisters,  and  entered  by  a  side  door.  All  was 
confusion  here.  "  Cowards,"  said  he  to  them,  as  they 
were  barring  the  doors,  "  I  forbid  you  to  do  it.  I  did  not 
come  here  to  resist,  but  to  suffer."  Scarcely  had  he  said 
the  words,  when  the  assassins,  who  had  not  found  him  in 
the  palace,  came  rushing  through  the  cloisters,  and 
entering  the  church,  divided.  The  primate,  meanwhile, 
had  ascended  a  few  steps  towards  the  choir.  "  Where  is 
the  traitor  Becket?"  exclaimed  Reginald  Fitzurse  ;  and 
as  no  answer  was  given:  "Where  is  the  archbishop?" 
he  repeated  in  a  louder  tone.  Becket  turned  his  head, 
and  coming  down  the  steps,  said  ;  "  Here  I  am.  Regi- 
nald, I  have  done  you  many  kindnesses  :  and  do  you 
come  to  me  thus  armed  ?"    He  seized  the  primate's  robe : 


BECKET.  109 

"  You  shall  know  at  once,''  said  he.  "  Get  out  from 
hence,  and  die."  "  I  will  not  move ;"  replied  the  primate, 
drawing  his  robe  from  his  hand.  "  Then  fly  ;"  exclaimed 
the  knight.  "Nor  that  either;"  observed  Becket :  "but 
if  it  is  my  blood  you  want,  I  am  ready  to  die,  that  the 
Church  may  obtain  liberty  and  peace  ;  only,  in  the  name 
of  God,  I  forbid  you  to  hurt  any  of  my  people." 

Reginald  retired  to  give  a  severer  blow ;  and  being 
joined  by  the  other  assassins,  he  struck  with  all  his 
might :  but  Edward  Grime,  a  clerk,  interposing  his  arm, 
received  the  weight  of  the  blow,  and  the  archbishop  was 
only  wounded  on  the  head.  "Now  strike:"  exclaimed 
Reginald.  Becket  bowing  his  head,  in  a  posture  of 
prayer:  "To  God/'  said  he,  "and  the  patrons  of  this 
place,  I  commend  myself  and  the  Church's  cause."  They 
were  his  last  words.  Without  a  motion  or  a  groan,  in  the 
same  devout  attitude,  with  his  hands  joined,  he  received 
a  second  stroke,  and  as  the  murderers  multiplied  their 
blows,  he  fell  motionless  at  their  feet,  "He  is  dead," 
said  they,  and  went  out. 

Thus  died  this  extraordinary  man,  in  the  fifty-third 
year  of  his  age. 

The  clergy,  with  many  of  the  inhabitants  of  Canterbury, 
wept  over  the  body  that  night.  They  were  surprised  to 
find  the  habit  of  a  monk  and  a  hair  shirt  beneath  the 
splendid  robes  of  the  archbishop,  who  had  not  pretended 
to  any  peculiar  asceticism,  even  after  his  elevation  to  the 
primacy. 

Becket  died  a  martyr,  in  the  same  sense  in  which 
Ridley  and  Latimer,  prelates  of  the  same  Church,  suffered 
martyrdom  at  a  later  period ;  and  perhaps  we  may  add 
the  name  of  his  successor,  Cranmer :  though  Cranmer 
sought  to  avoid  his  fate  by  a  recantation,  and  Becket 
preserved  his  constancy  to  the  end.  They  were  all  of 
them  martyrs  for  principles  which  they  believed  to  be 
true,  and  in  a  cause  which  they  thought  to  be  the  cause 
of  God  and  the  gospel. 

Becket  contended  for  a  principle,    devoted  his  life  to 


200  BECON. 

maintain  it,  and  willingly  died  to  support  it.  His  prin- 
ciple "was  to  maintain  the  liberty  of  the  Church :  but  alas  ! 
while  he  would  contend  for  the  Church's  liberty  against 
the  king,  he  was  prepared  to  deliver  her  bound  hand  and 
foot  to  a  foreign  prince  and  prelate,  the  bishop  of  Rome. 
Cranmer,  Ridley,  and  Latimer  contended  for  the  Church's 
liberty  against  the  pope,  but  delivered  her  up  a  slave  to 
the  state.  While  they  defied  the  fulminations  of  the  court 
of  Rome,  at  a  time  when  they  had  begun  to  lose  their 
terrors,  they  succumbed  to  a  tyrant  like  Henry  VIII, 
armed  with  despotic  powers  :  Becket  opposed  with  the 
spirit  of  chivalry  the  tyranny  of  Henry  II,  but  in  ignor- 
ance of  his  episcopal  rights,  and  yielding  to  the  temper  of 
the  age,  he  appeared  as  a  suppliant  in  the  court  of  Rome. 
By  the  church  of  Rome  he  was  canonized,  for,  though 
the  primate  of  the  church  of  England,  he  was  a  Romani- 
zer,  and  did  much  to  bring  our  beloved  church  under  a 
foreign  yoke. 

By  his  own  church  since  the  reformation,  his  name  as 
a  saint  has  been  erased  from  the  calendar,  and  certainly 
his  virtues,  though  they  are  not  to  be  denied,  were  not  of 
that  high  class  and  character  which  we  look  for  in  persons 
regarded  as  saints,  while  the  idolatrous  worship  paid  at 
his  shrine  before  the  reformation  rendered  it  necessary 
for  the  Church  to  take  steps  to  prevent  the  repetition  of 
it. — Quadrilogus.  F  it  z- Stephen.  Ep.  D.  Thomm.  Fronde's 
Remains.  History  of  Henry  II.  by  Littleton  Berrington. 
Bapin.     Lingard.     Sharon  Turner,  and  Poole. 

Becon,  Thomas,  was  born  about  the  year  1511,  but 
whether  Norfolk,  Suffolk,  or  Kent  had  the  honor  of 
being  the  place  of  his  birth,  his  biographers  are  doubtful, 
and  he  seems  not  to  have  known  himself.  At  an  early  age 
he  wras  sent  to  St  John's  college,  Cambridge,  where  he 
graduated  in  1530.  At  that  time  there  was  a  party  in 
the  university  anxiously  desirous  of  obtaining  a  reforma- 
tion in  our  venerable  establishment :  this  reforming  party 
wras  strongly  opposed  by  most  of  the  heads  of  houses  and 


BECON.  201 

the  influential  members  of  the  university,  but  it  reckoned 
among  its  numbers  many  men  the  most  distinguished  for 
learning  and  virtue  of  the  day.  Becon  mentions  his 
obligations  at  this  time  to  Latimer  and  to  Stafford,  a 
fellow  at  Pembroke  hall,  and  reader  in  divinity :  he 
mentions  a  saying  which  had  passed  into  a  proverb  among 
the  reforming  party,  "  When  master  Stafford  read,  and 
master  Latimer  preached,  then  was  Cambridge  blessed." 
Becon  was  ordained  in  1538;  it  is  probable  that  his 
reforming  principles  made  him  an  object  of  suspicion  to 
the  bishops  of  the  church  of  England,  and  occasioned  the 
delay  of  his  ordination  until  he  was  twenty-six  years  of 
age.  His  first  preferment  was  the  vicarage  of  Brensett  or 
Brenzett,  near  Romney,  in  Kent.  He  was  extremely 
cautious  in  his  manner  of  speaking  of  those  doctrines  and 
ceremonies  in  which  our  beloved  Church  at  that  period 
needed  a  reformation;  so  cautious,  that  he  published 
under  the  feigned  name  of  Theodore  Basil.  Being  aware 
that  Henry  VIII  was  open  to  flattery,  from  policy  or 
attachment,  he  was  lavish  in  his  praises  of  that  tyrannical 
prince.  But  notwithstanding  his  caution  and  policy,  he 
fell  under  suspicion  and  was  thrown  into  prison.  He  had 
been  long  attached  to  the  reforming  party,  but  although 
his  pen  had  been  ever  ready  to  defend  the  principles  of 
the  reformation,  he  did  not  think  it  necessary  to  defend 
them  by  his  blood  or  to  die  in  the  cause,  and  therefore 
in  1541  he  was  brought  to  St  Paul's  cross,  where  he 
recanted,  revoked  his  doctrine,  and  burned  his  books. 
He  naturally  felt  that  he  could  write  other  books,  if  by 
his  recantation  he  could  save  his  life,  and  he  was  willing 
to  revoke  his  doctrine  that  his  life  might  be  spared  to 
benefit  the  reformation,  if  better  days  were  to  come.  His 
recantation  commenced :  "  Worshipful  audience,  for  decla- 
ration of  my  penitent  heart,  and  the  testifying  you  my 
unfeigned  conversion  from  error  to  truth,  I  occupy  this 
day  the  place  of  a  penitent  praying  you  to  give  credit  to 
that  which  I  shall  now  say  of  myself,"  &c.  After  his 
recantation  he   retired  quietly  to  the  country.     His  dis- 


202  BECON. 

cretion  on  this  occasion  is  vindicated  by  himself:  "When 
neither  by  speaking  nor  by  writing  I  could  do  good,  I 
thought  it  best,  he  says  in  his  "Jewel  of  Joy,"  not  rashly 
to  throw  myself  into  the  paw  of  these  greedy  wolves  ;  but 
for  a  certain  season  to  absent  myself  from  their  tyranny, 
according  to  the  doctrine  of  the  gospel."  It  may  have 
been  according  to  the  gospel  to  flee  away  from  persecu- 
tion, but  it  was  "  another  gospel"  to  declare  publicly  his 
"  unfeigned  conversion"  from  his  former  opinions,  which 
he  called  error,  to  certain  other  opinions  which  he  called 
truth,  when,  by  so  doing  he  was  telling  a  falsehood.  It 
appears  that  if  the  "  greedy  wolves"  were  deceived  into  a 
belief  that  his  conversion  was  unfeigned,  his  friends  were 
soon  persuaded  that  he  had  only  told  a  falsehood  to  save 
his  life  ;  for  on  his  retiring  to  the  Peak  of  Derbyshire  the 
partizans  of  the  reformation  rallied  round  him,  and  in 
the  library  of  Mr  Alsop  he  was  pleased  to  find  his  own 
treatises,  published  under  the  name  of  Basil,  and  he  soon 
forgot  that  he  had  denounced  them  and  burnt  them, 
"  with  a  penitent  heart,"  as  full  of  errors.  From  Derby- 
shire he  went  to  Staffordshire  and  thence  to  Warwickshire 
and  Leicestershire,  supporting  himself  by  pupils,  and 
finding  pleasure  in  the  society  of  the  reformers.  He 
published  also  several  treatises,  though  with  his  usual 
discretion,  under  a  feigned  name.  Among  the  works 
published  at  this  time  was  the  "  Governance  of  Virtue," 
written,  as  he  expresses  himself,  "in  the  bloody,  bois- 
terous, burning  time,  when  the  reading  of  the  holy  Bible, 
the  word  of  our  soul's  health,  was  forbidden  the  poor  lay 
people." 

On  the  accession  of  King  Edward  VI.  the  reforming 
party  was  in  power,  and  they  gave  proof  that  they  consi- 
dered Becon's  former  conversion  as  merely  feigned  to  save 
his  life,  by  obtaining  for  him  the  rectory  of  St  Stephen 
Walbrook,  to  which  he  was  instituted  in  1547.  He  was 
also  chaplain  to  Dr  Cranmer,  archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
by  whom  he  was  appointed  one  of  the  six  preachers  in 
Canterbury   cathedral.     Becon  now  began  to  enjoy  the 


BECON.  203 

comforts  of  life :  he  married  a  wife  and  had  several  chil- 
dren :  he  was  soon  after  appointed  chaplain  to  the  duke 
of  Somerset,  to  whom  he  appears  to  have  been  sincerely 
attached.  It  has  been  supposed  by  some  that  he  held 
also  some  post  in  the  university  of  Oxford.  He  continued 
to  write,  and  his  treatises  at  this  time  were  chiefly  devo- 
tional. He  was  accustomed  at  all  times  to  express  himself 
strongly,  and  therefore  we  may  hope  that  his  description 
of  the  dreadful  effects  of  the  ultra-protestant  principles 
which  were  in  vogue  during  the  reign  of  Edward  VI.  may 
be  too  deeply  coloured.  If  it  be  only  true  in  part,  (and  no 
one  was  better  able  to  judge  of  the  truth  than  Thomas 
Becon,)  it  will  in  some  degree  account  for  the  violence 
with  which  the  reformers  were  opposed  in  the  reign  of 
Mary,  when  the  conservatives  in  state  displaced  the  re- 
formers, and  the  Romanizers  for  the  last  time  obtained 
ascendancy  in  our  church.  In  his  preface  to  the  "Jewel  of 
Joy,"  Becon  gives  what  Strype  calls  "a  clear  sight  of  the 
behaviour  of  these  times."  What  a  number  of  false  Chris- 
tians," he  says,  "  live  there  at  this  present  day,  unto  the 
exceeding  dishonour  of  the  Christian  profession,  which  with 
their  mouth  confess  that  they  know  God,  but  with  their 
deeds  they  utterly  deny  him,  and  are  abominable,  disobe- 
dient to  the  word  of  God,  and  utterly  estranged  from  all 
good  works  ?  What  a  swarm  of  gross  gospellers  have  we 
also  among  us,  which  can  prattle  of  the  gospel  very  finely, 
talk  much  of  the  justification  of  faith,  crake  very  stoutly 
of  the  free  remission  of  all  their  sins  by  Christ's  blood, 
avaunce  themselves  to  be  of  the  number  of  those,  which  are 
predestinate  unto  eternal  glory?  But  how  far  does  their 
life  differ  from  all  true  Christianity  ?  They  are  puffed  up 
with  all  kind  of  pride  :  they  swell  with  all  kind  of  envy, 
malice,  hatred,  and  enmity  against  their  neighbour,  they 
burn  with  unquenchable  lusts  of  carnal  concupiscence,  they 
wallow  and  tumble  in  all  kind  of  beastly  pleasures ;  their 
greedy  covetous  affections  are  insatiable  :  the  enlarging 
of  their  lordships,  the  increasing  of  their  substance,  the 
scraping  together  of  their  worldly  possessions  infinite,  and 


204  BECON. 

knoweth  no  end.  In  fine,  all  their  endeavours  tend  unto 
this  end,  to  shew  themselves  very  ethnics,  and  utterly 
estranged  from  God  in  their  conversation,  although  in 
words  they  otherwise  pretend.  As  for  their  alms-deeds, 
their  praying,  their  watching,  their  fasting,  and  such  other 
godly  exercises  of  the  spirit,  they  are  utterly  banished 
from  these  rude  and  gross  gospellers  All  their  religion 
consisteth  in  words  and  disputations  ;  in  Christian  acts 
and  godly  deeds  nothing  at  all." 

On  the  accession  of  queen  Mary,  Becon  was  deprived 
of  his  living  as  a  married  priest :  he  was  also  accused  of 
being  a  seditious  preacher,  and  for  preaching  sedition  was 
cast  into  prison.  He  probably  had  advocated  the  unsuc- 
cessful revolution  attempted  by  the  reforming  party  under 
the  lady  Jane  Grey.  He  continued  in  prison  till  March 
1554.  By  what  means  he  escaped  is  not  known,  but  we 
are  told  that  "  there  is  no  reason  to  imagine  that  it  was 
through  any  dereliction  of  his  principles  :"  indeed  the 
persons  in  power  were  not  likely  to  believe  him  a  second 
time. 

He  repaired  to  Strasburgh :  where  he  published  among 
other  things  a  letter  or  treatise  to  popish  priests,  called 
the  "Displaying  of  the  Popish  Mass;"  while  his  works 
were  considered  as  sufficiently  important  in  England  to 
be  denounced  in  a  proclamation  issued  in  1555. 

Becon  returned  home  with  the  other  reformers  when 
queen  Elizabeth  came  to  the  throne.  He  was  restored  to 
his  benefice  in  London,  and  to  his  preachership  at  Can- 
terbury. But  he  was  not  advanced  to  any  high  station  in 
the  church  ;  the  objection  to  him  probably  being  that  he 
was  opposed  to  the  principles  of  the  Church.  In  1502  he 
signed  a  paper,  in  conjunction  with  many  other  ultra- 
protestants,  containing  propositions  for  the  omission  of 
the  catholic  ceremonies  still  retained  in  the  church  of 
England.  And  in  1564  we  find  him  refusing  to  subscribe 
to  the  ecclesiastical  regulations  which  were  put  to  the 
London  clergy  for  their  subscription.  The  clergy  were 
summoned  before  the   archbishop  of  Canterbury  and  the 


BECON.  208 

bishop  of  London  at  Lambeth,  when,  according  to  Strype, 
the  bishop's  chancellor  spoke  thus  :  "  My  masters  and 
the  ministers  of  London,  the  council's  pleasure  is,  that 
strictly  ye  keep  the  unity  of  apparel  like  to  this  man," 
pointing  to  Mr  Robert  Cole,  (a  minister  likewise  of  the 
city  who  had  refused  the  habits  a  while,  and  now  complied, 
and  stood  before  them  canonically  habited,)  "as  you  see 
him ;  that  is  a  square  cap,  a  scholar's  gown  priest-like,  a 
tippet,  and  in  the  church  a  linen  surplice  :  and  inviolably 
observe  the  rubric  of  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer,  and 
the  queen's  majesty's  injunctions ;  and  the  Book  of  Con- 
vocation, [that  must  be  the  Thirty-nine  Articles.]  Ye  that 
will  presently  subscribe,  write  Yolo.  Those  that  will  not 
subscribe,  write  Nolo.  Be  brief;  make  no  words."  And 
when  some  would  have  spoken,  the  answer  was,  "Peace, 
peace."  Apparitor,  call  "the  churches;"  [that  is,  the 
names  of  each  parish  church  ;  and  each  minister  to  an- 
swer when  his  church  was  named.]  "  Masters,  answer 
presently,  sub  jmna  contemptus;  and  set  your  names." 
Then  the  Sumner  called  first  the  peculiars  of  Canter- 
bury; then  some  of  Winchester  diocese,  [viz.  such 
whose  livings  were  in  Southwark ;]  and  lastly,  the  London 
ministers. 

By  these  resolute  doings  many  of  the  incumbents  were 
mightily  surprised.  And  the  above  mentioned  journalist, 
who  was  one  of  them,  thus  wrote  of  it :  "  Mens  hearts 
were  tempted  and  tried.  Great  was  the  sorrow  of  most 
ministers,  and  their  mourning,  saying,  We  are  killed  in 
the  soul  of  our  souls  for  this  pollution  of  ours ;  for  that 
we  cannot  perform  in  the  singleness  of  our  hearts  this  our 
ministry." 

Strype  says  that  Becon  refused  at  first,  but  afterwards 
subscribed  and  was  preferred,  "  as  were  others  that  did 
the  like." 

He  seems  to  have  been  noticed  by  Dr  Parker,  arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  and  to  have  been  on  friendly  terms 
with  him,  as  a  letter  is  preserved,  in  which,  after  men- 

VOL.   II.  s 


306  BECON. 

tioning  his  own  donation  to  his  grace,  of  an  ancient 
exposition  of  the  Gospels  of  St  Mark  and  St  Luke,  he 
adds,  "  My  wife,  your  grace's  daily  oratrix,  hath  added 
her  poor  present,  that  is,  a  couple  of  fat  capons  and  six 
chickens."  This  fact,  coupled  with  his  not  obtaining 
higher  preferment,  at  a  time  when  it  was  difficult  to  find 
a  sufficieDt  number  of  respectable  men,  holding  reforma- 
tion principles,  for  the  higher  offices,  inclines  us  to 
suppose  that  he  was  known  to  be  too  ultra  in  his  pro- 
testantism. 

His  powers  as  a  popular  preacher  were  probably  con- 
siderable, as  one  of  his  Lent  sermons  at  St  Paul's  cross, 
made  such  an  impression  on  the  lord  mayor,  that  his 
lordship  requested  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury  that 
Becon  might  be  appointed  to  preach  one  of  the  Spital 
sermons  at  the  ensuing  Easter. 

His  worldly  circumstances  were  not  good,  as  in  several 
of  his  prefaces  and  dedications  he  bemoans  his  poverty ; 
he  says  in  his  preface  to  his  catechism,  written  in  1560, 
he  had  "  ever  been  attempted  with  the  cruel  assaults  of 
envious  fortune."  But  the  poverty  of  a  pluralist  and  a 
prebendary  of  Canterbury  must  only  have  been  compara- 
tive. It  was  not  the  positive  poverty  of  the  primitive 
Christians. 

Becon  died  at  Canterbury  in  1563,  having  been  the 
author  of  tracts  almost  innumerable  in  favour  of  the  re- 
formation :  they  are  now  almost  forgotten,  but  have  lately 
been  reprinted  by  the  Parker  Society,  a  society  to  which 
antiquarians  and  the  collectors  of  rare  books  are  much 
indebted.  There  is  a  vigor  in  his  style,  and  often  a  fervour 
of  devotion  in  his  tone,  which  must  have  given  an  interest 
and  charm  to  his  writings  when  they  were  first  published ; 
and  although  his  works  are  disfigured  by  party  feeling, 
they  may  be  profitably  consulted  by  those  who  are  engaged 
in  writing  popular  tracts. — Tanner.  Strypes  Crammer  and 
Parker.  Luptons  Modem  Divines.  Life  prefixed  to  the 
Parker  Society's  edition  of  Becon  s  Works. 


BEDE.  207 

Bede.  **  The  venerable  Bede"  was  born  about  the  year 
673,  in  a  village  on  the  east  coast  of  Northumberland, 
now  covered  with  the  sea.  He  was  a  pupil  of  the  noble 
and  learned  Benedict  Biscop,  and  studied  for  some  time 
in  the  monastery  of  Benedictines  at  Weremouth,  of  which 
his  tutor  and  patron  was  the  founder.  From  Weremouth 
he  removed  to  the  monastery  of  Jarrow,  and  at  the  age  of 
nineteen  he  was  ordained  deacon  by  John  of  Beverley, 
bishop  of  Hexham.  He  continued  to  devote  himself  to 
his  studies,  which  embraced  the  whole  circuit  of  learned 
and  polite  literature  of  those  days,  as  well  as  the  pursuits 
most  becoming  his  sacred  office,  until  he  was  thirty  years 
of  age,  when  he  was  ordained  priest  by  the  same  hand 
which  had  admitted  him  to  the  diaconate. 

The  duties  of  priests  are  thus  described  in  the  canons 
of  Edgar : — 

"  They  were  forbidden  to  carry  any  controversy  among 
themselves  to  a  lay-tribunal :  their  own  companions  were 
to  settle  it,  or  the  bishop  was  to  determine  it. 

"  No  priest  was  to  forsake  the  church  to  which  he  was 
consecrated,  nor  to  intermeddle  with  the  rights  of  others, 
nor  to  take  the  scholar  of  another.  He  was  to  learn  sedu- 
lously his  own  handicraft,  and  not  put  another  to  shame 
for  his  ignorance,  but  to  teach  him  better.  The  high- 
born were  not  to  despise  the  less-bom,  nor  any  to  be  un- 
righteous or  covetous  dealers.  He  was  to  baptize  when- 
ever required,  and  to  abolish  all  heathenism  and  witchcraft. 
They  were  to  take  care  of  their  churches,  and  apply  ex- 
clusively to  their  sacred  duties ;  and  not  to  indulge  in  idle 
speech,  or  idle  deeds,  or  excessive  drinking ;  nor  to  let 
dogs  come  within  their  church-inclosure,  nor  more  swine 
than  a  man  might  govern. 

"  They  were  to  celebrate  mass  only  in  churches,  and  on 
the  altar,  unless  in  cases  of  extreme  sickness.  They  were 
to  have  at  mass  their  corporalis  garment,  and  the  subucula 
under  their  alba ;  and  all  their  omciatiug  garments  were 
to  be  woven.  Each  was  to  have  a  good  and  right  book. 
No  one  was  to  celebrate  mass,  unless  fasting,  and  unless 


208  BEDE. 

he  had  one  to  make  responses ;  nor  more  than  three  times 
a  day;  nor  unless  he  had,  for  the  Eucharist,  pure  bread, 
wine  and  water.  The  cup  was  to  be  of  something  molten, 
not  of  wood.  No  woman  was  to  come  near  the  altar 
during  mass.  The  bell  was  to  be  rung  at  the  proper 
time. 

"  They  were  to  preach  every  Sunday  to  the  people;  and 
always  to  give  good  examples.  They  were  ordered  to  teach 
youth  with  care,  and  to  draw  them  to  some  craft.  They 
were  to  distribute  alms,  and  urge  the  people  to  give  them, 
and  to  sing  the  psalms  during  the  distribution,  and  to 
exhort  the  poor  to  intercede  for  the  donors.  They  were 
forbidden  to  swear,  and  were  to  avoid  ordeals.  They  were 
to  recommend  confession,  penitence,  and  compensation  ; 
to  administer  the  sacrament  to  the  sick,  and  to  anoint 
him  if  he  desired  it ;  and  the  priest  was  always  to  keep  oil 
ready  for  this  purpose  and  for  baptism.  He  was  neither 
to  hunt,  or  hawk,  or  dice  ;  but  to  play  with  his  book  as 
became  his  condition." 

He  now  began,  but  not  till  he  had  been  requested  by 
the  bishop,  to  apply  himself  to  writing;  and  his  authorship 
extended  over  the  same  wide  field  in  which  he  had  before 
laboured  as  a  student.  Astrology,  poetry,  and  rhetoric  were 
illustrated  by  his  pen ;  he  wrote  comments  on  parts  of  the 
Holy  Scriptures  ;  and  he  left  behind  him  an  ecclesiastical 
history  of  England,  which  will  be  his  most  honourable 
monument,  as  long  as  literature  has  any  being.  Besides 
this,  he  was  much  engaged  in  the  instruction  of  youth,  a 
task  which  he  fulfilled  in  a  manner  nobly  attested  by  the 
future  eminence  of  some  of  his  pupils :  nor  did  his  hand 
cease  to  labour  in  those  offices  which  come,  from  a  change 
of  habits,  to  be  accounted  menial,  though  the  prosperity 
of  the  more  exemplary  religious  societies  in  those  days, 
partly  depended  on  their  being  discharged  by  the  honoured 
hands  of  the  priests  and  deacons  of  their  fraternity. 

His  history  Bede  undertook  at  the  instance  of  Ceolwulph, 
king  of  Xorthumbria,  a  great  admirer  and  patron  of 
learned  men,   and  of  those  especially  who  led  a  monastic 


BEDE.  209 

life.  After  Becle's  death,  Ceolwulph  himself,  resigned  his 
crown,  and  became  a  monk  at  Lindisfarn  ;  by  no  means  a 
solitary  instance  of  such  a  step  in  those  days,  and  certainly 
not  so  ignoble  a  one  as  some  may  sneeringly  suggest, 
There  is  difficulty  enough,  and  more  than  enough,  in  any 
state  of  society,  to  maintain  a  consistent  Christian  course, 
when  encumbered  with  the  cares,  and  solicited  by  the 
temptations,  of  state  and  splendour :  but  when  princes 
were  either  unworthy  of  their  name  or  must  themselves 
be  their  own  ministers  in  every  department ;  and  when 
the  whole  state  of  society  was  so  barbarous  and  irregular  as 
to  make  it  impossible  to  hold  even  the  right,  without  vio- 
lence or  policy,  which  might  soon  degenerate  into  treachery 
and  cruelty,  a  great  man  might  well  seek  repose  and 
time  for  the  concerns  of  his  soul,  before  he  was  called  out 
of  this  world  of  preparation  for  a  better.  It  was  perhaps  a 
venial  ambition  in  the  monasteries  to  court  such  retiring 
princes  to  their  walls  :  at  any  rate,  there  the  noble  recluses 
found  a  rest  congenial  with  their  present  wishes;  and 
thence,  together  with  other  means,  the  ecclesiastical  bodies 
acquired  wealth,  and  a  weight  of  influence  which  gives  a 
colour  to  the  rest  of  the  history  of  the  middle  ages. 

Of  the  last  hours  of  Bede  we  have  an  account  by  an  eye 
witness,  and  nothing  can  more  beautifully  attest  the  truth 
of  his  religion,  sanctifying  all  his  labours,  and  bringing 
him  peace  at  the  end.  From  a  fortnight  before  Easter, 
until  the  day  of  our  Lord's  accension,  he  had  been  troubled 
with  difficulty  of  breathing ;  but  he  continued  cheerful, 
and  occupied  in  his  devotions,  especially  in  thanksgiving  : 
nor  did  he  forget  the  daily  lessons,  which  he  read  to  his 
disciples.  The  night  too  was  interrupted  with  his  prayers 
and  hymns,  and  on  Ascension-day  singing  the  Antiphon, 
"  0  Glorious  King,  Lord  of  power,  who,  triumphing  on 
this  day,  didst  ascend  above  all  the  heavens,  forsake  not 
us  orphans  ;  but  send  clown  upon  us  the  promised  Spirit 
of  Truth,"  at  the  words  forsake  us  not,  he  and  all  with 
him  burst  into  tears.     He   was   still  engaged  at  such  in- 

s  2 


210  BEDE. 

tervals  as  he  could  command  in  dictating  a  translation 
into  the  vernacular  tongue  of  the  gospel  according  to  St 
John.  "  Dear  master,"  said  his  attendant,  when  he  was 
just  ready  to  depart,  "  there  is  yet  one  sentence  not  writ- 
ten." This  he  dictated,  and  said  "It  is  ended.  Support 
my  head  on  your  hands,  that  I  may  sit  facing  the  holy 
place  where  I  was  wont  to  pray,  and  to  sing  '  Glory  be  to 
the  Father,  and  to  the  Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost;"'  when 
he  had  named  the  Holy  Ghost  his  spirit  took  its  flight, 
and  all  who  beheld  him  die,  said  that  they  had  never 
before  seen  such  devotion  and  tranquillity. 

His  death  took  place  on  Ascension-day,  in  the  year  of 
grace  735,  and  he  was  buried  by  the  brethren  of  his  house, 
in  the  south  porch  of  the  church  of  Jarrow.  He  was  long 
reverenced  as  a  saint,  nor  will  the  true  Christian  refuse 
him  that  most  noble  title  to  this  day.  In  such  men  is 
the  real  strength  of  the  Church,  though  this  strength  may 
be  visibly  wielded  by  such  men  as  his  contemporary 
Wilfred. 

Of  the  ecclesiastical  history  of  Bede,  it  will  be  enough 
to  say,  that  he  had  to  write  of  times  into  the  annals  of 
which  it  is  scarcely  possible  to  infuse  much  interest,  yet 
the  evident  predominance  of  one  feeling  in  his  own  heart, 
irresistibly  leads  the  heart  of  his  reader  with  him  ;  and 
amidst  all  the  incoherency  and  disjointedness  of  his  inci- 
dent, which  is  the  fault  of  his  times,  there  is  an  admirable 
unity  of  thought  and  design,  which  is  his  own  peculiar 
merit.  He  is  every  where  the  Christian  and  the  ecclesi- 
astical historian.  His  work  is  the  chief  authority  for  the 
events  of  the  preceding  times,  and  where  his  task  is  closed, 
there  history  assumes  a  darker  and  more  uninviting  aspect 
for  many  generations. 

The  homilies  of  Bede  were  in  such  repute  that  they 
were  read  in  the  churches  even  during  his  life,  and  he 
takes  his  place  among  the  very  best  expositors  of  Holy 
Writ,  in  that  or  any  age.  His  name  is  inserted  in  the 
calendar   on    the    :27th    of   May,    which    day  the  church 


BEDELL.  311 

of  England  appoints  to  be  dedicated  to  his  memory, 
even  to  the  present  time.  Numberless  reasons  have 
been  assigned  why  the  epithet  venerable  should  have 
so  inseparably  been  attached  to  Bede.  It  was  probably 
given  to  him  by  his  contemporaries  in  his  old  age,  from 
the  peculiar  dignity  of  his  manners.  The  legendary 
tales  relating  to  the  origin  of  the  title  are  amusing : 

We  are  told  that  when  he  grew  old,  and  was  through 
age  blind,  one  of  his  disciples  carried  him  abroad  to  a 
place  where  there  lay  a  great  heap  of  stones,  and  told 
him  he  was  surrounded  by  a  great  crowd  of  people,  who 
waited  with  silence  and  attention  to  receive  his  spiritual 
consolation.  The  old  man  accordingly  made  a  long  dis- 
course, which  he  concluded  with  a  prayer,  and  the  stones 
very  punctually  made  their  response,  "  Amen,  venerable 
Bede." 

Another  story  relating  to  this  title,  and  no  less  to  be 
credited  than  the  first,  is  thus  reported.  A  young  man  a 
monk  studying  for  an  epitaph  for  Bede  got  thus  far, 

Hac  sunt  in  fossa  BEDiE ossa. 

His  head  not  being  well  turned  for  poetry,  he  could  find 
no  words  to  fill  up  this  hiatus ;  and  after  tormenting  him- 
self to  no  purpose,  he  fell  asleep  : .  but  the  next  morning 
returning  to  his  task,  with  infinite  astonishment  he  found 
the  line  completed  thus,  by  some  invisible  hand. 
Hac  sunt  in  fossa  Bedae  venerabilis  ossa. 

Cave.  Bedes  Works,  edit,  by  Giles. 

Bedell,  William,  was  born  in  1570  at  Black  Xotleyin 
the  county  of  Essex.  In  1592,  he  was  chosen  fellow7  of 
Emmanuel  college,  Cambridge,  and  took  his  degree  of 
B  D.  in  1599.  On  leaving  the  university  he  was  pre- 
sented to  the  living  of  St  Edmondsbury  in  Suffolk,  where 
he  remained  till  the  year  1604,  when  he  was  appointed 
by  Sir  Henry  Wotton,  at  that  time  ambassador  to  the 
republic  of  Venice,  to  be  his  chaplain.  At  Venice  he 
remained  for  eight  years,  and  formed  the  friendship  of 
father  Paul  Sarpi. 


112  BEDELL. 

Pope  Paul  the  Fifth  had  at  this  time  placed  the 
republic  of  Venice  under  an  interdict,  and  the  Venetian 
senate  had  taken  steps  to  prevent  the  execution  of  the 
interdict  by  an  act  prohibiting  the  cessation  of  public 
worship  and  the  suspension  of  the  Sacraments.  The 
Jesuits  and  Capuchin  friars,  for  obeying  the  orders  of 
the  pope,  had  been  banished  from  the  Venetian  ter- 
ritories ;  and  the  ablest  pens,  particularly  that  of  Paul 
Sarpi,  were  employed  to  determine,  after  an  accurate  and 
impartial  inquiry,  the  true  limits  of  the  Ptoman  pontiff's 
jurisdiction  and  authority.  This  movement,  which  threat- 
ened a  separation  of  the  church  of  Venice  from  the  church 
of  Rome,  was  viewed  with  interest  by  many  members  of 
the  church  of  England,  but  by  none  more  than  by  Bedell. 
He  translated  into  Italian  the  English  Prayer  Book, 
which  was  so  favourably  received  by  the  seven  divines, 
appointed  by  the  republic  to  preach  against  the  pope, 
that  they  were  determined  to  take  it  as  a  model  for  their 
own,  had  they  been  able  to  establish  the  independence 
of  their  church. 

Bedell  at  this  time  became  acquainted  also  with  the 
celebrated  Antonio  de  Dominis,  archbishop  of  Spalato, 
whom  he  assisted  by  correcting  his  well  known  book,  "  De 
Republica  Ecclesiastica." 

On  his  return  to  England  he  brought  with  him  the 
manuscript  of  father  Pauls  history  of  the  interdict  and 
inquisition,  his  history  of  the  council  of  Trent,  and  a  large 
collection  of  letters  on  the  controversy  in  which  Paul  bore 
so  conspicuous  a  part;  and  retiring  to  his  cure  at  St 
Edmondsbury,  he  there  employed  himself  in  translating 
portions  of  them  into  latin.  Here  he  married  the  widow 
of  the  recorder  of  the  town.  In  1615  he  was  presented 
to  the  living  of  Horningsheath,  and  in  1627  he  was  unani- 
mously elected  provost  of  Trinity  college,  Dublin :  after 
remaining  in  this  post  for  two  years,  by  the  interest  of 
Laud,  then  bishop  of  London,  and  Sir  Thomas  Jermyn, 
he  was  nominated  to  the  sees  of  Kilmore  and  Ardagh, 
being  then  in  his  fifty-ninth  year. 


BEDELL.  213 

He  found  the  church  of  Ireland  in  great  disorder,  and 
applied  himself  with  vigour  to  reform  the  abuses  in  his 
own  dioceses.     He  began  with  that  of  plurality  of  bene- 
fices.    To  this  end  he  convened  his   clergy,    and,  in  a 
sermon,  laid   before  them  the  institution,  nature,    and 
duties  of  the  ministerial  employment,  froin  the  Scriptures 
and  the  fathers,   and  after  sermon,    discoursed  to  them 
upon  the  same  subject  in  latin,   and  exhorted  them  to 
reform  that  abuse.     To  prevail  on  them  the  better,  he 
told  them  he  resolved  to  shew  them  an  example  in  parting 
with  one  of  his  bishoprics,   and  he  accordingly  resigned 
Ardagh.     He  made  several  regulations   with  respect   to 
residence,  was  extremely  watchful  of  the  conduct  of  the 
clergy,  and  no  less  circumspect  in  his  own  behaviour.    His 
ordinations  were  public  and  solemn.    He  preached  and  ad- 
ministered the  Holy  Sacrament  on  such  occasions  himself. 
He  never  ordained  any  person  to  priests  orders  till  a  year 
after  his  having  been  made  deacon,  that  he  might  know 
how  he  had  behaved  during  that  time.     He  wrote  certifi- 
cates of  ordination  and  other  instruments  with  his  own 
hand,   and  suffered  none  who  received  them  to  pay  any 
fees.     When  he  had  brought  things  to  such  a  length,  that 
his  clergy  were  willing  to  assist  him  in  the  great  work  of 
reformation,  he  convened  a  synod  in  September,  1638,  in 
which  he  made  many  canons  which  are  still  extant.  There 
were  some  who  regarded  this  synod  as  an  illegal  assembly, 
and  thought  that  his  presuming   to   make  canons    was 
against  law,  so  that  there  was  some  talk  of  bringing  him 
before  the  star-chamber,   or  high-commission  court ;   but 
his  archdeacon,  afterwards  archbishop  of  Cashel,  gave  such 
an  account  of  the  matter  as  satisfied  the  state.     Arch- 
bishop Usher  said  on  this  occasion  to  those  who  were  very 
earnest  for  bringing  him  to  answer  for  his  conduct,  You 
had  better  let  him  alone,    lest,    if    when  provoked,   he 
should  say  much  more  for  himself,  than  any  of  his  accu- 
sers can  say  against  him.     Bedell  having  observed  that 
the  ecclesiastical  court  in  his  diocese  was  a  great  abuse, 
being  governed  by  a  lay  chancellor   who  had  bought  the 


214  BEDELL. 

place  from  his  predecessor,  and  for  that  reason  thought  he 
had  a  right  to  all  the  profits  he  could  raise  :  removed  the 
chancellor,  and  resuming  the  jurisdiction  of  a  bishop,  sat 
in  his  own  courts  and  heard  causes  with  a  select  number 
of  his  clergy,  by  whose  advice  he  gave  sentence.  The 
chancellor  upon  this  brought  a  suit  against  the  bishop 
into  chancery,  for  invading  his  office.  Bolton,  the  lord 
chancellor  of  Ireland,  confirmed  the  chancellors  right, 
and  gave  him  a  hundred  pounds  costs  against  the  bishop; 
and  when  Bedell  asked  him  how  he  could  give  such  an 
unjust  decree,  he  answered,  that  all  his  father  had  left 
him  was  a  register's  place,  and  therefore  he  thought  he 
was  bound  to  support  those  courts,  which  must  be  ruined 
if  some  check  was  not  given  to  the  bishop's  proceedings. 
The  chancellor,  however,  gave  him  no  further  disturbance, 
nor  did  he  ever  call  for  his  costs,  but  named  a  surrogate, 
with  orders  to  obey  the  bishop.  Bishop  Bedell  was  no  per- 
secutor of  papists,  nor  did  he  approve  of  those  who  made 
use  of  harsh  expressions  against  popery.  In  an  extract  of 
one  of  Bedell's  sermons  given  us  by  bishop  Burnet,  we 
meet  with  the  following  passage  :  "It  is  not  the  storm  of 
words,  but  the  strength  of  reasons,  that  shall  stay  a  waver- 
ing judgment  from  errors,  &c;  when  that  like  a  tempest  is 
overblown,  the  tide  of  others'  examples  will  carry  other 
men  to  do  as  the  most  do ;  but  these  like  so  many  anchors 
will  stick,  and  not  come  again.  Besides  our  calling  is  to 
deal  with  errors,  not  to  disgrace  the  man  with  scolding 
words.  It  is  said  of  Alexander,  I  think,  when  he  overheard 
one  of  his  soldiers  railing  lustily  on  Darius  his  enemy, 
he  reproved  him,  and  added,  Friend,  I  entertain  thee  to 
fight  against  Darius,  not  to  revile  him.  Truly  it  may  be 
well  thought  that  those  that  take  this  course  shall  find  but 
small  thanks  at  Christ's  our  captain's  hands,  and  it  is  not 
unlike  but  he  would  say  to  them,  were  he  here  on  earth 
again ;  '  Masters,  I  would  you  should  refute  popery  and 
set  yourselves  against  antichrist  my  enemy,  with  all  the 
discoloured  sects  and  heresies,  that  fight  under  his  banner 
against  me,  and  not  call  him  and  his  troops  all  to  nought !' 


BEDELL.  215 

And  this  is  my  poor  opinion  concerning  our  dealing  with 
the  papists  themselves,  perchance  differing  from  men  of 
great  note  in  Christ's  family,  Mr  Luther,  and  Mr  Calvin. 
and  others  ;  but  yet  we  must  live  by  rules,  not  examples  ; 
and  they  were  men,  who  perhaps  by  complexion  or  other- 
wise were  given  too  much  to  anger  and  heat."  He  la- 
boured to  convert  the  more  respectable  of  the  popish 
clergy,  and  in  this  he  had  great  success.  He  procured  a 
translation  of  the  Common  Prayer  into  Irish,  and  caused 
it  to  be  read  in  his  cathedral  every  Sunday.  The  new 
testament  had  also  been  translated  by  William  Daniel, 
archbishop  of  Tuam,  and  at  the  bishop  s  desire,  the  old 
testament  was  first  translated  into  the  same  language  by 
Mr  King;  but  as  King  was  ignorant  of  the  original  tongue, 
and  did  it  from  the  English,  Bedell  himself  revised  and 
compared  it  with  the  Hebrew,  and  the  best  translations. 
He  took  care  likewise  to  have  some  of  St  Chrysostom's 
and  Leo's  homilies  in  commendation  of  the  Scriptures, 
translated  both  into  English  and  into  Irish,  that  the 
common  people  might  see,  that  in  the  opinion  of  the 
ancient  fathers,  they  had  not  only  a  right  to  read  the 
Scriptures  as  well  as  the  clergy,  but  that  it  was  their  duty 
so  to  do.  When  he  found  the  work  was  finished,  he  re- 
solved to  be  at  the  expense  of  printing  it,  but  his  design 
was  interrupted  by  a  cruel  and  unjust  prosecution  carried 
on  against  the  translator,  who  not  only  lost  his  living,  but 
was  also  attacked  in  his  character.  The  bishop  supported 
Mr  King  as  far  as  he  was  able,  and  the  translation  being 
finished,  he  would  have  had  it  printed  in  his  own  house, 
if  the  troubles  of  Ireland  had  not  prevented  it ;  it  hap- 
pened fortunately,  however,  that  the  translation  escaped 
the  hands  of  the  rebels,  and  was  afterwards  printed  at 
the  expense  of  Mr  Robert  Boyle.  The  bishop  always 
desired  to  make  proselytes  by  persuasion,  and  not  compul- 
sion ;  and  it  was  his  opinion,  that  protestants  would  agree 
better,  if  they  could  be  brought  to  understand  each  other. 
There  were  some  Lutherans  at  Dublin,  who,  for  not  coming 
to  church  and  taking  the  Holy  Sacrament,  were  cited  into 


216  BEDELL. 

the  archbishop's  consistory,  upon  which  they  desired  time 
to  write  to  their  divines  in  Germany,  which  was  granted ; 
and  when  their  answers  came,  they  contained  some  excep- 
tions to  the  doctrines  of  the  Church,  as  not  explaining  the 
real  presence  of  Christ  in  the  Eucharist,  with  sufficient 
accuracy :  to  which  bishop  Bedell  wrote  an  answer,  and 
the  German  theologians,  who  saw  it,  advised  their  coun- 
trymen to  join  in  communion  with  the  Church,  which  they 
accordingly  did. 

When  the  rebellion  broke  out  in  Ireland,  in  October, 
1641,  the  bishop  at  first  did  not  feel  the  violence  of 
its  effects,  for  even  the  rebels  and  dissenters  had  con- 
ceived a  great  veneration  for  him,  and  they  declared 
he  should  be  the  last  Englishman  they  would  drive 
out  of  Ireland.  His  was  the  only  house  in  the  county 
of  Cavan  that  was  unviolated,  and  it  was  filled  with 
the  people  who  fled  to  him  for  shelter.  About  the 
middle  of  December,  however,  the  rebels,  pursuant 
to  orders  received  from  their  council  of  state  at  Kil- 
kenny, required  him  to  dismiss  the  people  that  were 
with  him,  which  he  refused  to  do,  declaring  he  would 
share  the  same  fate  with  the  rest.  Upon  this  they  seized 
him,  his  two  sons,  and  Mr  Clogy,  who  had  married  his 
daughter-in-law,  and  carried  them  prisoners  to  the  castle 
of  Cloughboughter,  surrounded  by  a  deep  water,  where 
they  put  them  all,  except  the  bishop,  in  irons  ;  the  bishop, 
however,  ceased  not  to  give  spiritual  consolation  to  those 
with  him,  and  on  Christmas-day  administered  the  Holy 
Communion  to  them  in  prison.  After  being  confined  for 
about  three  weeks,  the  bishop  and  his  two  sons,  and  Mr 
Clogy,  were  exchanged  for  two  of  the  O'Rourkes;  but  though 
it  was  agreed  that  they  should  be  safely  conducted  to 
Dublin,  yet  the  rebels  would  not  suffer  them  to  be  carried 
out  of  the  country,  but  sent  them  to  the  house  of  Denis 
O'Sheriden.  The  bishop  died  soon  after  he  came  here, 
on  the  7th  of  February,  1611,  his  death  being  chiefly 
occasioned  by  his  late  imprisonment  and  the  weight  of 
sorrows  which  lay  upon  his  mind.    Nearly  all  his  writings 


BEDFORD.  217 

perished  in  the  rebellion.  In  1713  there  was  printed  a 
poem  written  by  him  in  the  style  of  Spenser,  entitled,  A 
Protestant  Memorial,  or  the  Shepherd's  Tale  of  the  Powder 
Plot.  It  was  printed  from  a  manuscript  found  in  the 
library  of  Dr  Dillingham;  and  in  1742  there  were  pub- 
lished at  Dublin  some  original  letters  concerning  the  steps 
taken  towards  a  reformation  of  religion  in  Venice,  on  the 
quarrel  between  that  state  and  pope  Paul  the  Fifth. — 
Burnet's  Life  of  Bedell.     Boyle  s  Works. 

Bedford,  Arthur,  was  born  at  Tiddenham  in  Glou- 
cestershire, in  1668.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  he  became  a 
commoner  of  Brazenose-college,  Oxford,  where  he  took  his 
masters  degree  in  1691.  The  year  following  he  was  pre- 
sented to  the  vicarage  of  Temple  Church,  Bristol,  from 
whence  some  years  afterwards  he  removed  to  Newton  St 
Loe  in  Somersetshire  ;  but  in  1724  he  was  chosen  chaplain 
to  the  Haberdasher's  Hospital,  London,  where  he  died  in 
1745.  His  works  are — 1.  Serious  Pieflections  on  the  abuse 
of  the  Stage,  8vo.  This  was  followed  by  some  other  tracts 
on  the  same  subject.  2.  The  Temple  of  Music,  8vo.  3. 
The  great  Abuse  of  Music,  8vo.  4.  An  Essay  on  singing 
David's  Psalms,  8vo.  5.  Animadversions  on  Sir  Isaac 
Newton's  Chronology,  8vo.  1728.  6.  A  Sermon  at  St 
Botolph's,  Aldgate,  against  Stage-plays,  1730,  8vo.  7.  Ob- 
servations on  a  Sermon  preached  by  the  Rev.  A.  S.  Catcott, 
before  the  Corporation  of  Bristol,  8vo.  1736.  8.  An  Ex- 
amination of  Mr  Hutchinson's  Remarks,  and  Mr  Catcott's 
Answer  to  the  Observations,  &c.  8vo.  1738.  9.  Scripture 
Chronology,  folio,  1741.  10.  Eight  Sermons  on  the  Doc- 
trine of  the  Trinity,  at  Lady  Mover's  Lecture,  8vo.  1740. 
11.  The  Doctrine  of  Justification  by  Faith  stated,  8vo, 
1741.  12.  Hora3  Mathematics  vacuas,  or  a  Treatise  on 
the  Golden  and  Ecliptic  Numbers,  8vo.  1743. — Ellis 's 
Hist,  of  Shoreditch.     Republic  of  Letters. 

Bedford,  Hilkiah,  was  born  in  London  in  1663,  and 

VOL.  IT.  t 


ns  BEHMEX 

educated  at  St  John's  college,  Cambridge,  on  the  foun- 
dation of  Mr  Plat,  his  maternal  grandfather.  He  after- 
wards obtained  a  fellowship,  took  his  degree  in  arts, 
and,  on  taking  orders,  was  presented  to  a  living  in 
Lincolnshire,  of  which  he  was  deprived  at  the  Revo- 
lution for  refusing  to  take  the  oaths  of  allegiance  to 
the  prince  of  Orange,  when  he  had  the  honour  of  be- 
coming chaplain  to  bishop  Ken.  He  then  kept  a  board- 
ing-house for  the  Westminster  scholars ;  but  in  1714 
he  was  sentenced  to  three  years'  imprisonment  and  a 
heavy  fine  for  publishing  the  Hereditary  Right  of  the 
Crown  of  England  asserted,  the  real  author  of  which  was 
George  Harbin.  Mr  Bedford  translated  an  answer  to 
Fontenelle's  History  of  Oracles,  and  Dr  Barwick  s  Life, 
into  English.  He  died  in  1734. — Nichols's  Literary  Anec- 
dotes.    Coles  MSS.     Athena  in  Brit.  Mus. 

Bedford,  Thomas,  the  son  of  Hilkiah  Bedford,  was 
educated  at  Westminster  school,  from  whence  he  removed 
to  St  John's  college,  Cambridge,  but  never  took  any 
degree  on  account  of  his  attachment  to  the  nonjurors, 
among  whom  he  exercised  the  ministry  at  Compton  in 
Derbyshire,  where  he  died  in  1773.  He  was  at  one  time 
chaplain  in  the  family  of  Sir  John  Cotton,  Bart.,  with 
whom  he  sojourned  at  Angers  in  France.  He  published, 
in  1732,  Simeonis  monachi  Dunelmensis  libellus  de 
exordio  atque  procursu  Dunelmensis  ecclesise,  8vo.  He 
also  wrote  an  historical  Catechism,  8vo.  1712. — Nichols's 
Life  of  Bomjer. 

Behmen,  or  Bozhmen,  Jacob,  designated  by  his  admirers 
as  the  German  theosophist,  was  born  near  Gorlitz,  in  Upper 
Lusatia,  in  1575.  He  was  a  shoemaker  by  trade,  and  being 
of  a  serious  turn  of  mind,  employed  his  leisure  hours  in 
reading  religious  books,  besides  which  he  studied  alchemy. 
In  1612  he  published  a  treatise  entitled  "  Aurora  ;  or,  The 
Rising  of  the  Sun,"  which  gave  such  offence  to  George 


BEHMEN.  210 

Richter,  dean  of  Gorlitz,  that  he  complained  of  it  to  the 
magistrates,  who  commanded  Jacob  to  leave  off  writing, 
and  stick  to  his  last.  He  obeyed,  and  was  silent  for  seven 
years,  when  his  reputation  as  a  practical  chemist  gave  him 
encouragement  to  renew  his  theological  revelations,  and 
during  the  remaining  five  years  of  his  life  he  wrote  above 
twenty  books,  the  best  of  which  was  "A  Table  of  his 
Principles  ;  or,  A  Key  to  his  Works."  Of  Behmen,  the 
following  is  the  account  given  by  Mosheim  :  "  He  had  a 
natural  propensity  towards  the  investigation  of  mysteries, 
and  was  fond  of  abstruse  and  intricate  inquiries  of  every 
kind ;  and  having,  partly  by  books  and  partly  by  conversa- 
tion with  certain  physicians,  acquired  some  knowledge  of 
the  doctrine  of  Robert  Fludd  and  the  Pcosicracians,  which 
was  propagated  in  Germany  with  great  ostentation  during 
this  century,  he  struck  out  of  the  element  of  fire,  by  the 
succours  of  imagination,  a  species  of  theology  much  more 
obscure  than  the  numbers  of  Pythagoras,  or  the  intricacies 
of  Heraclitus.  Some  have  bestowed  high  praises  on  this 
enthusiast,  on  account  of  his  piety,  integrity,  and  sincere 
love  of  truth  and  virtue ;  and  we  shall  not  pretend  to  con- 
tradict these  encomiums.  But  such  as  carry  their  admi- 
ration of  his  doctrine  so  far  as  to  honour  him  with  the 
character  of  an  inspired  messenger  of  heaven,  or  even  of 
a  judicious  and  wise  philosopher,  must  be  themselves 
deceived  and  blinded  in  a  very  high  degree ;  for  never  did 
there  reign  such  obscurity  and  confusion  in  the  writings 
of  any  mortal,  as  in  the  miserable  productions  of  Jacob 
Behmen,  which  exhibit  a  motley  mixture  of  chemical 
terms,  crude  visions,  and  mystic  jargon.  Among  other 
dreams  of  a  disturbed  and  eccentric  fancy,  he  entertained 
the  following  chimerical  notions :  '  That  the  divine  grace 
operates  by  the  same  rules,  and  follows  the  same  methods, 
that  the  divine  providence  observes  in  the  natural  world  : 
and  that  the  minds  of  men  are  purged  from  their  vices  and 
corruptions  in  the  same  way  that  metals  are  purified  from 
their  dross  ;'  and  this  maxim  was  the  principle  of  his  fire 
theology.      He  died  at  Gorlitz,  in  1623.    His  works  were 


220  BELL. 

printed  at  Amsterdam  in  1730,  under  the  title  of  Theo-so- 
phia  Revelata.  Whatever  may  have  been  the  errors  and 
eccentricities  of  Behmen's  genius,  there  must  be  more  of 
depth  in  his  system  than  his  opponents  seem  willing  to 
admit,  since  it  was  able  to  bring  into  captivity  such  a 
mind  as  that  of  William  Law,  who  employed  the  last 
years  of  his  life  in  preparing  a  new  edition,  with  a  trans- 
lation, of  Behmen's  works,  which  appeared  after  his  death 
in  two  vols  4to.  According  to  Dr  Henry  More  the  sect  of 
the  quakers  have  borrowed  many  of  their  doctrines  from 
Behmen. — Life  by  Okeley.     Mosheim. 

Bell,  William,  was  Educated  at  Magdalen  college, 
Cambridge,  at  which  university  he  obtained  several  prizes. 
He  is  entitled  to  the  grateful  regard  of  his  alma  mater 
for  having  established  eight  scholarships  for  the  orphan 
sons  of  poor  clergymen.  Before  his  demise  he  had  trans- 
ferred £15,200,  in  the  three  per  cents  to  the  university 
for  this  object.  His  other  charities  were  very  considerable. 
He  died  in  1816  a  prebendary  of  Westminster.  He  pub- 
lished some  works,  but  they  were  of  little  value,  and  are 
now  forgotten. — Gentlemen  s  Magazine. 

Bell,  Andrew,  was  born  at  St  Andrews  in  1753,  and 
in  1789  became  chaplain  to  Fort  St  George,  at  Madras. 
He  there  introduced  a  system  of  education  relating  to  the 
management  of  classes,  which  was  subsequently  adopted 
in  the  National  Society  for  the  education  of  the  poor.  It 
has  been  much  modified,  but  is  very  far  still  from  being 
what  religious  persons  would  desire.  A  dissenter,  named 
Lancaster,  contended  with  Dr  Bell  for  the  honour  of 
having  originated  the  plan ;  but  the  general  current  of 
opinion,  as  well  as  documentary  evidence,  awards  the 
honour,  such  as  it  is,  of  its  introduction,  to  Dr  Bell. 
Dr  Bell  was  a  prebendary  of  Westminster,  and  master  of 
Sherborn  hospital,  Durham.  He  died  in  1832.  He  had 
amassed  an  immense  fortune,  and  left  £120,000  in  sup- 


BELLARMINE.  221 

port  of  national  institutions  and  public  charities. — Annual 
Biography. 

Bellarmine,  Robert,  was  born  at  Monte-Puluano  in 
Tuscany,  October  4th,  154-2;  his  mother  was  sister  to  pope 
Marcellus  II.  He  became  a  Jesuit  in  1560,  at  the  period 
when  the  members  of  that  order  were  exerting  themselves 
to  the  utmost  to  paralyze  the  reformation ;  and  his  con- 
nection with  that  order  gave  the  direction  to  his  extra- 
ordinary controversial  talents.  Such  was  the  lead  which 
he  took  as  a  controversialist,  that  it  was  at  him  especially 
that  the  most  eminent  protestant  polemics  directed  their 
attacks ;  and  by  so  doing  they  proclaimed  him  to  be  what 
the  more  timid  or  more  violent  of  his  own  communion 
were  slow  to  admit,  the  most  able  and  judicious  advocate 
of  the  Romish  cause.  Although  his  prejudices  as  a  Ro- 
manist frequently  obscured  his  vision  of  the  truth,  yet  his 
candour  is  admitted  by  all  parties : — by  papists,  who  com- 
plained that  he  exposed  their  weak  points  ;  and  by  protest- 
ants,  who  insinuated  that  he  must  in  secret  have  inclined 
to  their  own  opinions.  His  treatise  de  Romano  Pontifico 
was  condemned  by  pope  Sextus  V.  as  injurious  to  the 
Roman  see,  because  he  referred  the  papal  authority  to  an 
indirect  rather  than  a  direct  grant  of  Christ;  and  yet; 
though  falling  under  the  censure  of  the  more  violent  parti* 
zans  o.v"  papal  pretensions,  his  assertions  with  respect  to 
papal  power  were  regarded  in  France  as  ultra-montane? 
and  his  treatise  against  Barclay  was  condemned  in  L610 
by  the  parliament  of  Paris.  Under  the  assumed  name  of 
Matthew  Tortus  he  attacked  king  James  ;  when  he  found 
in  bishop  Andrewes,  who  came  forward  to  vindicate  the 
king,  an  opponent  very  different  from  those  with  whom 
he  had  usually  to  contend,  and  he  must  have  learned 
from  him  that  there  is  a  catholic  via  media  between 
Romanism  on  the  one  hand  and  mere  protestantism  on 
the  other. 

But  Bellarmine  was  not  merely  a  controversialist ;  he 
t  2 


aaa  bellarmine. 

was  distinguished  also  for  his  eloquence  as  a  preacher,  and 
indeed  such  were  his  powers  in  this  respect,  that  he  re- 
ceived a  license  to  preach,  before  he  had  arrived  at  the 
canonical  age.  Having  exerted  himself  as  a  preacher  in 
Italy,  he  proceeded  afterwards  to  Flanders,  and  in  1569 
was  ordained  priest  at  Ghent,  by  the  celebrated  Cornelius 
Jansen  ;  in  the  year  following  he  had  the  honour  of  being 
the  first  Jesuit  who  had  ever  been  appointed  professor  of 
theology  in  the  university  of  Louvain.  Here  his  lectures 
were  attended,  and  his  sermons  admired  not  only  by 
Romanists,  but  even  by  protestants. 

After  having  lived  seven  years  in  the  Low  Countries,  he 
returned  to  Italy,  and  in  1576,  began  to  read  lectures  at 
Rome  on  points  of  controversy.  This  he  did  with  so  much 
applause,  that  Sixtus  V.  appointed  him  to  accompany  his 
legate  into  France,  in  1590,  as  a  person  who  might  be  of 
great  service,  in  case  of  any  demand  for  controversial  eru- 
dition. He  returned  to  Rome  about  ten  months  after, 
where  he  had  several  offices  conferred  on  him  by  his  own 
society  as  well  as  by  the  pope,  and  in  the  year  1599,  was 
created  a  cardinal.  Three  years  after  he  had  the  arch- 
bishopric of  Capua  conferred  upon  him,  which  he  resigned 
in  1605,  when  the  pope,  Paul  V.  desired  to  keep  him  near 
his  person,  his  conscience  not  permitting  him  to  keep  a 
church  upon  which  he  could  not  reside.  He  was  employed 
in  the  affairs  of  the  court  of  Rome,  till  the  year  1621, 
when,  finding  himself  declining  in  health,  he  left  the 
Vatican,  and  retired  to  the  house  belonging  to  the  noviciate 
of  the  Jesuits  of  St  Andrew,  where  he  died  the  17th  of 
September,  1621.  It  appeared  on  the  day  of  his  funeral, 
that  he  was  regarded  as  a  saint.  The  Swiss  guards  be- 
longing to  the  pope,  were  placed  round  his  coffin,  in  order 
to  keep  off  the  crowd,  which  pressed  to  touch  and  kiss  the 
body  :  and  every  thing  he  made  use  of  was  carried  away, 
as  a  venerable  relic. 

At  the  end  of  the  century  it  was  proposed  in  the  court 
of  Rome  to  canonize  him,   and  informations  were  taken 


BENEDICT.  223 

according  to  custom  to  make  proof  of  his  sanctity ;  which 
having  been  reported  to  the  congregration  of  cardinals 
and  consultors  on  the  7th  of  July,  1677,  of  seventeen 
cardinals,  ten  voted  for  his  canonization,  while  the  rest 
thought  the  proofs  insufficient,  and  of  nineteen  consultors, 
sixteen  were  for  his  beatification,  and  three  of  a  contrary 
opinion. 

Such  a  proceeding  is  justly  offensive  to  those  who  hold 
Catholic  as  distinguished  from  Romish  principles. — Dupin. 
Moreri.   Butler.    Alegambe  BibUoth.    Script.  Soc. 

Belsham,  Thomas,  was  born  in  1750,  at  Bedford,  where 
his  father  was  a  dissenting  preacher  of  the  presbyterian 
persuasion.  From  Calvinism  Belsham  passed  on  to 
socinianism.  He  contended  resolutely  for  the  principle 
that  the  Bible  and  the  Bible  only,  interpreted  according  to 
each  man's  private  judgment,  is  the  religion  of  protestants; 
and  according  to  his  private  judgment,  the  Bible  taught 
what  he  called  unitarianism.  He  was  elected  in  1794  by 
a  congregation  at  Hackney,  to  preach  to  them,  and  he  con- 
tinued to  be  their  preacher  till  1805,  when  he  went  to  the 
meeting-house  in  Essex-street,  London.  He  died  in  1829. 
He  was  principally  concerned  in  what  his  party  called  the 
improved  version  of  the  New  Testament,  which  was  pub- 
lished in  1808  ;  a  work  prepared  by  persons  so  deficient 
in  scholarship,  as  to  have  been  discreditable  to  the  society 
under  whose  auspices  it  was  published.  Among  those 
who  maintained  the  right  of  private  judgment,  as  among 
the  "  unitarians"  generally,  Belsham  held  during  the  end 
of  the  last,  and  the  beginning  of  the  present  century,  a 
distinguished  place. — Annual  Biog. 

Benedict,  Saint,  was  born  in  480,  in  the  duchy  of 
Spoleto,  and  was  educated  at  Rome.  Disgusted  by  the 
dissipation  of  his  fellow  students  at  Rome,  he  retired  to  the 
desert  of  Subiaco,  about  forty  miles  from  that  city,  where, 
concealed  in  a  cave,  he  was  supplied  with  food  by  a  hermit 
named  Romanus,  who  used  to  descend  to  him  by  a  rope. 


224  BENEDICT. 

This  life  he  pursued  for  three  years,  during  which  time 
he  employed  himself  in  giving  instructions  to  the  shep- 
herds who  frequented  the  neighbourhood,  and  at  length 
was  chosen  by  the  monks  of  a  neighbouring  monastery  to 
be  their  abbot.  Here  his  severity  and  asceticism  caused 
such  dissatisfaction,  that  it  is  said  that  the  monks  attempt- 
ed to  poison  him  ;  indeed  the  Romish  legends  assert  that 
he  was  only  saved  by  a  miracle.  At  all  events,  he  thought 
fit  to  retire  from  his  post,  and  on  returning  to  his  solitude, 
was  followed  by  many  persons,  who  placed  themselves 
under  his  direction,  and  in  a  short  time  he  was  able  to 
erect  twelve  monasteries,  each  containing  twelve  monks, 
and  all  being  under  his  direction.  The  monasteries  of 
the  west  had  adopted  a  very  lax  rule,  and  Benedict  was 
determined  to  introduce  a  strict  one.  But  he  met  with 
much  opposition  from  a  faction  headed  by  a  neighbouring 
clergyman.  In  all  ages  the  attempt  to  lead  a  strict  and 
ascetic  life  has  been  met  by  the  fierce  opposition  of  those 
who  think  themselves  injured  if  others  endeavour  to  lead 
a  more  evangelical  life  than  they  :  and  such  was  the 
opposition  to  which  Benedict  was  exposed,  that  in  528  he 
and  his  monks  were  obliged  to  remove  from  Subiaco.  He 
retired  to  Monte  Cassino,  where  idolatry  still  prevailed, 
and  a  temple  stood  to  Apollo.  He  converted  the  people, 
destroyed  the  image  of  Apollo,  and  erected  two  chapels  on 
the  mountain.  Here  also  he  founded  a  monastery,  which 
became  the  model  for  all  the  monasteries  of  Western 
Europe.  It  was  here  too  that  he  composed  his  "  Regula 
Monachorum,"'  of  which  Gregory  the  great,  speaks  in 
terms  of  high  approbation.  We  are  indebted  to  Mr  Mait- 
land  for  the  following  translation  of  the  prologue  and  the 
fourth  chapter  : — 

"  Hear,  0  my  son,  the  precepts  of  a  master;  and  incline 
the  ear  of  thine  heart ;  and  cheerfully  receive,  and  affec- 
tually  fulfil,  the  admonition  of  an  affectionate  father ;  that, 
by  the  labour  of  obedience,  thou  mayest  return  to  him, 
from  whom  thou  hast  departed  by  the  sloth  of  disobedi- 
ence.    To  thee  therefore  my  discourse  is  now  directed — 


BENEDICT.  225 

whosoever,  renouncing  the  desires  of  self,  and  about  to 
serve  as  a  soldier  of  the  Lord  Christ,  the  true  King, 
dost  assume  the  most  powerful  and  noble  arms  of 
obedience. 

"  In  the  first  place,  you  must,  with  most  urgent  prayer, 
entreat  that  whatsoever  good  thing  you  take  in  hand,  may 
thr  ugh  Him  be  brought  to  completion  ;  that  He  who  hath 
condescended  now  to  reckon  us  in  the  number  of  His 
sons,  may  not  be  obliged  to  grieve  over  our  ill  conduct. 
For  He  is  ever  to  be  served  by  us,  with  those  good  things 
which  are  His  own;  so  served  by  us  as  that  not  only  He 
may  not,  as  an  angry  father,  disinherit  his  sons, — but 
that  He  may  not,  as  a  master  who  is  to  be  feared,  be  so 
incensed  by  our  sins,  as  to  deliver  over  to  eternal  punish- 
ment, as  most  wicked  servants,  those  who  would  not  follow 
Him  to  glory. 

"  Let  us,  however,  at  length  arise ;  for  the  Scripture 
arouses  us,  saying,  '  That  now  it  is  high  time  to  awake 
out  of  sleep;'  and,  our  eyes  being  opened  to  the  divine 
light,  let  us  hear  with  astonished  ears  the  voice  which 
every  day  admonishes  us,  '  To  day  if  ye  will  hear  his 
voice,  harden  not  your  hearts  ;'  and  again,  ■  He  that  hath 
ears  to  hear,  let  him  hear  what  the  Spirit  saith  to  the 
churches;'  and  what  saith  He?  'Come,  ye  children, 
hearken  unto  me  :  I  will  teach  you  the  fear  of  the  Lord' — 
'  Run  while  ye  have  the  light  of  life,  lest  the  darkness  of 
death  overtake  you.' 

••  And  the  Lord,  seeking  for  his  workman  among  the 
multitude  of  the  people,  whom  He  thus  addresses,  saith 
again,  {  What  man  is  he  that  desireth  life,  and  will  see 
good  days'?'  And  if  when  you  hear  this  you  answer  '  I,' 
God  saith  unto  you,  '  If  thou  wilt  have  life,  keep  thy 
tongue  from  evil,  and  thy  lips  that  they  speak  no  guile. 
Depart  from  evil,  and  do  good  ;  seek  peace  and  pursue  it.' 
And  when  you  shall  have  done  this,  '  My  eyes  are  upon 
you,  and  My  ears  are  towards  your  prayers  ;  and  before  ye 
call  upon  Me  I  will  say  ur.to  you  '  Here  am  I.'  "  Most 
dear  brethren,  what  is  sweeter  than  this  voice  of  the  Lord 


'226  BENEDICT. 

inviting  us  ?  Behold,  in  His  mercy,  the  Lord  points  out 
to  us  the  way  of  life. 

"  Our  loins  therefore  being  girded,  and  our  feet  shod 
with  faith  and  the  observance  of  good  works,  let  us,  under 
the  guidance  of  the  gospel,  go  forth  on  His  ways,  that  we 
may  be  counted  worthy  to  see  Him  who  hath  called  us,  in 
His  kingdom.  In  the  tabernacle  of  Whose  kingdom,  if  we 
desire  to  dwell,  we  can  by  no  means  attain  our  desire, 
except  by  running  in  the  way  of  good  works.  But  let  us 
inquire  of  the  Lord  with  the  prophet,  and  say  unto  Him, 
1  Lord,  who  shall  dwell  in  Thy  tabernacle,  and  who  shall 
rest  in  Thy  holy  mountain  ?  After  this  inquiry,  brethren, 
let  us  hear  the  Lord  replying,  and  shewing  us  the  way  of 
His  tabernacle,  and  saying,  '  He  that  walketh  uprightly, 
and  worketh  righteousness,  and  speaketh  the  truth  in  his 
heart ;  he  that  backbiteth  not  with  his  tongue,  nor  doeth 
evil  to  his  neighbour,  nor  taketh  up  a  reproach  against  his 
neighbour.'  Who  turning  away  the  eyes  of  his  heart  from 
the  wicked  Devil  who  tempts  him,  and  from  his  tempta- 
tion, hath  brought  him  to  nought,  and  hath  taken  the 
young  thoughts  which  he  hath  bred  and  dashed  them  to 
pieces  on  Christ.  Who,  fearing  the  Lord,  are  not  puffed 
up  by  their  good  works  ;  but  who,  considering  that  those 
good  things  which  are  in  them  could  not  be  wrought  by 
themselves,  but  by  the  Lord,  magnify  the  Lord  who  work- 
eth in  them,  saying  with  the  prophet,  '  Not  unto  us,  O 
Lord,  not  unto  us,  but  unto  Thy  name  give  glory.'  Like 
as  the  apostle  Paul  reckoned  nothing  of  his  preaching, 
saying,  '  By  the  grace  of  God  I  am  what  I  am  ;'  and 
again  he  says,  5  He  that  glorifieth  let  him  glory  in  the 
Lord.' 

"  Hence  also  it  is,  that  our  Lord  saith  in  the  gospel, 
•  Whosoever  heareth  these  sayings  of  mine,  and  doeth 
them,  I  will  liken  him  unto  a  wise  man,  which  built  his 
house  upon  a  rock  :  and  the  floods  came,  and  the  winds 
blew,  and  beat  upon  that  house;  and  it  fell  not;  for  it  was 
founded  upon  a  rock.'  While  the  Lord  does  all  this,  He 
expects  every  day  that  we  should  respond  to  His  holy 


BENEDICT.  227 

admonitions,  by  our  actions.  Therefore  it  is,  that  the 
days  of  this  life  are  extended  as  a  respite  for  the  emenda- 
tion of  what  is  evil ;  as  the  apostle  says,  '  Knowest  thou 
not  that  the  long  suffering  of  God  leadeth  thee  to  repent- 
ance?' For  the  merciful  God  hath  said,  "I  desire  not 
the  death  of  a  sinner,  but  that  he  should  be  converted 
and  live.' 

"  When  therefore,  my  brethren,  we  inquire  of  the  Lord, 
'  who  shall  abide  in  Thy  tabernacle  ?'  we  thus  hear  the 
rule  of  habitation ;  and  if  we  fulfil  the  duty  of  an  inhabit- 
ant, we  shall  be  heirs  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  There- 
fore our  hearts  and  bodies  are  to  be  prepared  to  go  forth 
to"the  warfare  of  holy  obedience  to  the  commandments ; 
and,  because  it  is  impossible  to  our  nature,  let  us  ask  the 
Lord  of  His  grace  that  He  would  assist  us  with  His  help. 
And  if,  flying  from  the  pains  of  hell,  we  desire  to  obtain 
eternal  life,  while  yet  there  is  opportunity  and  we  are  in 
this  body,  and  space  is  afforded  to  fulfil  all  these  things 
by  this  life  of  light,  we  must  now  run  and  labour  for  that 
which  shall  profit  us  for  ever. 

"  We  must,  therefore,  institute  a  school  of  service  to  the 
Lord  ;  in  which  institution  we  trust  that  we  shall  appoint 
nothing  harsh  or  burdensome.  If,  however,  anything  a 
little  severe  should,  on  reasonable  grounds  of  equity,  be 
enjoined  for  the  correction  of  vices,  and  the  preservation 
of  charity,  do  not  in  sudden  alarm  fly  from  the  way  of 
safety,  which  can  only  be  begun  by  a  narrow  entrance. 
In  the  progress,  however,  of  our  conversation  and  faith, 
the  heart  being  enlarged  with  the  ineffable  sweetness  of 
love,  we  run  the  way  of  God's  commandments,  so  that 
never  departing  from  His  governance,  remaining  under  His 
teaching  in  the  monastery  until  death,  we  through  patience 
are  partakers  of  Christ's  sufferings,  that  we  may  be  counted 
worthy  to  be  partakers  of  His  kingdom." 

The  first  chapter  of  the  rule  is  on  various  kinds  of 
monks — the  second,  on  the  qualifications  and  duties  of 
an  abbot — the  third,  on  the  duty  of  the  abbot  to  take 
counsel   with  the  brethren — and  the   fourth   is  headed, 


228  BENEDICT. 

"  Quae  sint  instrumenta  bonomm  operum."  This  title 
has  given  some  trouble  to  commentators  ;  and  the  reader 
may  translate  it  as  he  pleases.  "  It  is  not  my  business," 
says  Mr  Maitland,  "to  criticise  it,  especially  as  the  chapter 
itself  is  intelligible  enough.  It  contains  seventy-two  brief 
injunctions,  from  whence  we  may  form  some  general 
opinion  as  to  what  those  who  bound  themselves  by  this 
rule  did,  and  did  not,  undertake.  Most  of  the  other 
seventy- two  chapters  of  the  rule  consist  of  regulations 
respecting  the  organization  and  management  of  their 
society,  which  would,  of  course,  occupy  the  most  room ; 
but  it  seems  to  me  that  this  one  chapter  should  at  least 
qualify  the  statements  of  those  who  profess  to  have  found 
nothing  but  a  body  of  heartless  forms. 

"  1.  In  the  first  place,  to  love  the  Lord  God  with  the 
whole  heart,  whole  soul,  whole  strength.  2.  Then  his 
neighbour  as  himself.  3.  Then  not  to  kill.  4.  Then  not 
to  commit  adultery.  5,  Not  to  steal.  6.  Not  to  covet. 
7.  Not  to  bear  false  witness.  8.  To  honour  all  men. 
9.  And  what  any  one  would  not  have  done  to  him,  let  him 
not  do  to  another.  10.  To  deny  himself,  that  he  may  fol- 
low Christ.  11.  To  chasten  the  body.  12.  To  renounce 
luxuries.  13.  To  love  fasting.  14.  To  relieve  the  poor. 
15.  To  clothe  the  naked.  16.  To  visit  the  sick.  17.  To 
bury  the  dead.  18.  To  help  in  tribulation.  19.  To  con- 
sole the  afflicted.  20.  To  disengage  himself  from  worldly 
affairs.  21.  To  set  the  love  of  Christ  before  all  other 
things.  22.  Not  to  give  way  to  anger.  23.  Not  to  bear 
any  grudge.  24.  Not  to  harbour  deceit  in  the  heart. 
25.  Not  to  make  false  peace.  26.  Not  to  forsake  charity. 
27.  Not  to  swear,  lest  haply  he  perjure  himself.  28.  To 
utter  truth  from  his  heart  and  his  mouth.  29.  Not  to 
return  evil  for  evil.  30.  Not  to  do  injuries;  and  to  bear 
them  patiently.  31.  To  love  his  enemies.  32.  Not  to 
curse  again  those  who  curse  him  ;  but  rather  to  bless 
them.  33.  To  endure  persecutions  for  righteousness'  sake. 
34.  Not  to  be  proud.  35.  Not  given  to  wine.  36.  Not 
gluttonous.     37.  Not  addicted  to  sleep.     38.  Not  sluggish. 


BENEDICT.  229 

39.  Not  given  to  murmur.  40.  Not  a  slanderer.  41.  To 
commit  his  hope  to  God.  4 2.  When  he  sees  any  thing 
good  in  himself,  to  attribute  it  to  God,  and  not  to  himsel  f. 
43.  But  let  him  always  know,  that  which  is  evil  in  his 
own  doing,  and  impute  it  to  himself.  44.  To  fear  the  day 
of  judgment.  45.  To  dread  Hell.  46.  To  desire  eternal 
life,  with  all  spiritual  longing.  47.  To  have  the  expecta- 
tion of  death  every  day  before  his  eyes.  48.  To  watch 
over  his  actions  at  all  times.  49.  To  know  certainly  that, 
in  all  places,  the  eye  of  God  is  upon  him.  50.  Those  evil 
thoughts  which  come  into  his  heart  immediately  to  dash 
to  pieces  on  Christ.  51.  And  to  make  them  known  to  his 
spiritual  senior.  5 '2.  To  keep  his  lips  from  evil  and 
wicked  discourse.     53.  Not  to  be  fond  of  much  talking. 

54.  Not  to  speak  vain  words,  or  such  as  provoke  laughter. 

55.  Not  to  love  much  or  violent  laughter.  56.  To  give 
willing  attention  to  the  sacred  readings.  57.  To  pray 
frequently.  58.  Every  day  to  confess  his  past  sins  to 
God,  in  prayer,  with  tears  and  groaning ;  from  thence- 
forward to  reform  as  to  those  sins.  59.  Not  to  fulfil  the 
desires  of  the  flesh  ;  to  hate  self-will.  60.  In  all  things  to 
obey  the  commands  of  the  abbot,  even  though  he  himself 
(which  God  forbid)  should  do  otherwise  ;  remembering  our 
Lord's  command,  '  What  they  say,  do  ;  but  what  they  do, 
do  ye  not.'  61.  Not  to  desire  to  be  called  a  saint  before 
he  is  one,  but  first  to  be  one  that  he  may  be  truly  called 
one.  62.  Every  day  to  fulfil  the  commands  of  God  in 
action.  63.  To  love  chastity.  64.  To  hate  nobody. 
65.  To  have  no  jealousy;  to  indulge  no  envy.  66.  Not 
to  love  contention.  67.  To  avoid  self-conceit.  68.  To 
reverence  seniors.  69.  To  love  juniors.  70.  To  pray  for 
enemies,  in  the  love  of  Christ.  71.  After  a  disagreement, 
to  be  reconciled  before  the  going  down  of  the  sun. 
72.  And  never  to  despair  of  the  mercy  of  God." 

These  rules  have  given  rise  to  many  disputes  among  the 
disciples  of  St  Benedict,  which  are  of  no  interest  to  the 
general  reader  or  ordinary  Christian. 

VOL.  II.  u 


•230  BENEDICT  BISCOP. 

The  date  of  his  death  is  differently  given  by  ancient 
writers  :  by  some  it  is  placed  as  early  as  542,  by  others  as 
late  as  547. — Mabillon.    Moreri.    Fosbrook.    Maitland. 

Benedict,  Biscop,  was  born  about  the  year  628,  being 
descended  frem  a  noble  lineage  of  the  Angles,  and  as  Bede 
pleasantly  remarks,  "being  by  corresponding  dignity  of 
mind  worthy  to  be  exalted  into  the  company  of  angels.'''' 
This  article  will  be  taken  entirely  from  venerable  Bede's 
Vita  Beatorum  Abbatum  Bede  informs  us  that  Benedict 
Biscop  was  the  minister  of  Oswy  king  of  Northumbria, 
and  by  his  gift  enjoyed  an  estate  suitable  to  his  rank ; 
but  at  the  age  of  twenty-five,  he  relinquished  a  secular 
life  and  made  a  journey  to  Rome,  the  capital  at  that 
time  of  the  civilized  world.  On  his  return  home  he 
exerted  himself  to  establish  among  his  own  countrymen 
the  precepts  of  ecclesiastical  life,  which  he  had  seen  and 
admired  in  Italy.  In  665  he  made  a  second  journey  to 
Rome,  and  after  some  months  went  to  the  island  of  Lerins, 
where  he  became  an  inmate  of  the  monastery,  and  was 
regularly  initiated  into  all  the  requirements  of  conventual 
life.  From  Lerins  he  once  more  returned  to  Rome,  which 
he  reached  at  an  important  juncture :  "  at  that  time,"  says 
the  venerable  Bede,  "  Egbert,  king  of  Kent,  had  sent  out  of 
Britain  a  man  who  had  been  elected  to  the  office  of  bishop, 
Wighard  by  name,  who  had  been  adequately  taught  by  the 
Roman  disciples  of  the  blessed  pope  Gregory  in  Kent  on 
every  topic  of  Church  discipline  ;  but  the  king  wished  him 
to  be  ordained  bishop  at  Rome,  in  order  that,  having  him 
for  bishop  of  his  own  nation  and  language,  he  might  him- 
self, as  well  as  his  people,  be  the  more  thoroughly  master 
of  the  words  and  mysteries  of  the  holy  faith  ;  as  he  would 
then  have  these  administered,  not  through  an  interpreter, 
but  from  the  hands  and  by  the  tongue  of  a  kinsman  and 
fellow-countryman.  But  Wighard,  on  coming  to  Rome 
died  of  a  disease,  with  all  his  attendants,  before  he 
had    received    the  dignity  of   bishop.      Now  the   pope, 


BENEDICT  BISCOP.  231 

that  the  embassy  of  the  faithful  might  not  fail  through 
the  death  of  their  ambassadors,  called  a  council,  and 
appointed  one  of  his  Church  to  send  as  archbishop  into 
Britain.  This  was  Theodore,  a  man  deep  in  all  secu- 
lar and  ecclesiastical  learning,  whether  Greek  or  Latin ; 
and  to  him  was  given,  as  a  colleague  and  counsellor,  a 
man  equally  strenuous  and  prudent,  the  abbot  Hadrian. 
Perceiving  also  that  the  reverend  Benedict  would  become 
a  man  of  wisdom,  industry,  piety,  and  nobility  of  mind, 
he  committed  to  him  the  newly  ordained  bishop,  with  his 
followers,  enjoining  him  to  abandon  the  travel  which  he 
had  undertaken  for  Christ's  sake ;  and  with  a  higher  good 
in  view,  to  return  home  to  his  country,  and  bring  into  it 
that  teacher  of  wisdom  whom  it  had  so  earnestly  wished 
for,  and  to  be  to  him  an  interpreter  and  guide,  both  on  the 
journey  thither,  and  afterwards,  upon  his  arrival,  when  he 
should  begin  to  preach.  Benedict  did  as  he  was  com- 
manded ;  they  came  to  Kent,  and  were  joyfully  received 
there ;  Theodore  ascended  his  episcopal  throne,  and 
Benedict  took  upon  himself  to  rule  the  monastery  of  the 
blessed  apostle  Peter,  of  which,  afterwards,  Hadrian  be- 
came abbot. 

He  ruled  the  monastery  for  two  years ;  and  then  suc- 
cessfully, as  before,  accomplished  a  third  voyage  from 
Britain  to  Piome,  and  brought  back  a  large  number  of 
books  on  sacred  literature,  which  he  had  either  bought  at 
a  price  or  received  as  gifts  from  his  friends.  On  his 
return  he  arrived  at  Vienne,  where  he  took  possession  of 
such  as  he  had  entrusted  his  friends  to  purchase  for  him. 
When  he  had  come  home,  he  determined  to  go  to  the 
court  of  Conwalh,  king  of  the  West  Saxons,  whose  friend- 
ship and  services  he  had  already  more  than  once  expe- 
rienced. But  Conwalh  died  suddenly  about  this  time,  and 
he  therefore  directed  his  course  to  his  native  province. 
He  came  to  the  court  of  Egfrid,  king  of  Northumberland, 
and  gave  an  account  of  all  that  he  had  done  since  in  youth 
he  had  left  his  country.  He  made  no  secret  of  his  zeal 
for  religion,   and  showed  what  ecclesiastical  or  monastic 


232  BENEDICT  BISCOP. 

instructions  he  had  received  at  Rome  and  elsewhere.  He 
displayed  the  holy  volumes  and  relics  of  Christ's  blessed 
apostles  and  martyrs,  which  he  had  brought,  and  found 
such  favour  in  the  eyes  of  the  king,  that  he  forthwith  gave 
him  seventy  hides  of  land  out  of  his  own  estates,  and 
ordered  a  monastery  to  be  built  thereon  for  the  first  pastor 
of  his  church.  This  was  done  at  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Were,  on  the  left  bank,  in  the  674th  year  of  our  Lord's 
incarnation,  in  the  second  indiction,  and  in  the  fourth 
year  of  king  Egfrid's  reign. 

After  the  interval  of  a  year,  Benedict  crossed  the  sea 
into  Gaul,  and  no  sooner  asked  than  he  obtained  and 
carried  back  with  him  some  masons  to  build  him  a  church 
in  the  Roman  style,  which  he  had  always  admired.  So 
much  zeal  did  he  show  from  his  love  to  Saint  Peter,  in 
whose  honour  he  was  building  it,  that  within  a  year  from 
the  time  of  laying  the  foundation,  you  might  have  seen 
the  roof  on  and  the  solemnity  of  the  mass  Celebrated 
therein.  When  the  work  was  drawing  to  completion,  he 
sent  messengers  to  Gaul  to  fetch  makers  of  glass,  (more 
properly  artificers,)  which  was  at  this  time  unknown  in 
Britain,  that  they  might  glaze  the  windows  of  his  church, 
with  the  cloisters  and  dining  rooms.  This  was  done,  and 
they  came,  and  not  only  finished  the  work  required,  but 
taught  the  English  nation  their  handicraft,  which  was  well 
adapted  for  enclosing  the  lanterns  of  the  church,  and  for 
the  vessels  required  for  various  uses.  All  other  things  neces- 
sary for  the  service  of  the  church  and  the  altar,  the  sacred 
vessels,  and  the  vestments,  because  they  could  not  be  pro- 
cured in  England,  he  took  especial  care  to  buy  and  bring 
home  from  foreign  parts. 

"  Some  decorations  and  muniments  there  were,  which 
could  not  be  procured  even  in  Gaul,  and  these  the  pious 
founder  determined  to  fetch  from  Rome ;  for  which  pur- 
pose, after  he  had  formed  the  rule  for  his  monastery,  he 
made  his  fourth  voyage  to  Rome,  and  returned  loaded 
with  more  abundant  spiritual  merchandise  than  before. 
In  the  first  place,   he  brought  back  a  large  quantity  of 


BENEDICT  BISCOP.  233 

books  of  all  kinds ;  secondly,  a  great  number  of  relics  of 
Christ's  apostles  and  martyrs,  all  likely  to  bring  a  bless- 
ing on  many  an  English  church;  thirdly,  he  introduced 
the  Roman  mode  of  chanting,  singing,  and  ministering  in 
the  church,  by  obtaining  permission  from  pope  Agatho  to 
take  back  with  him  John,  the  arch-chanter  of  the  church 
of  St  Peter,  and  abbot  of  the  monastery  of  St  Martin,  to 
teach  the  English.  This  John,  when  he  arrived  in 
England,  not  only  communicated  instruction  by  teaching 
personally,  but  left  behind  him  numerous  writings,  which 
are  still  preserved  in  the  library  of  the  same  monastery. 
In  the  fourth  place,  Benedict  brought  with  him  a  thing  by 
no  means  to  be  despised,  namely,  a  letter  of  privilege  from 
pope  Agatho,  which  he  had  procured,  not  only  with  the  con- 
sent, but  by  the  request  and  exhortation,  of  king  Egfrid,  and 
by  which  the  monastery  was  rendered  safe  and  secure  for 
ever  from  foreign  invasion.  Fifthly,  he  brought  with  him 
pictures  of  sacred  representations,  to  adorn  the  church  of 
St  Peter,  which  he  had  built ;  namely,  a  likeness  of  the 
Virgin  Mary  and  of  the  twelve  apostles,  with  which  he 
intended  to  adorn  the  central  nave,  on  boarding  placed 
from  one  wall  to  the  other ;  also  some  figures  from  eccles- 
iastical history  for  the  south  wall,  and  others  from  the 
Revelation  of  St  John  for  the  north  wall ;  so  that  every 
one  who  entered  the  church,  even  if  they  could  not  read, 
wherever  they  turned  their  eyes,  might  have  before  them 
the  amiable  countenance  of  Christ  and  his  saints,  though 
it  were  but  in  a  picture,  and  with  watchful  minds  might 
revolve  on  the  benefits  of  our  Lord's  incarnation,  and 
having  before  their  eyes  the  perils  of  the  last  judgmeDt, 
might  examine  their  hearts  the  more  strictly  on  that 
account. 

In  682  he  received  a  further  donation  of  land  from 
Egfrid,  and  upon  this  new  estate  he  built  the  monastery 
of  Jarrow,  and  placed  therein  seventeen  monks  under  an 
abbot  named  Ceolfrid.  About  the  same  time  he  appointed 
a  presbyter,  Easterwine,  to  be  joint  abbot  with  himself  of 

v  2 


234  BENEDICT  BISCOP. 

St  Peter's  monasteiy,  at  Weremouth,  that,  with  the  help 
of  this  fellow  soldier,  he  might  sustain  a  burden  otherwise 
too  heavy  for  him.  Soon  after  this  he  took  his  fifth  and 
last  journey  to  Rome,  and  as  before,  came  back  enriched 
with  a  further  supply  of  ecclesiastical  books  and  pictures, 
He  brought  with  him,  says  Bede,  pictures  of  the 
saints,  as  numerous  as  before.  He  also  brought  with  him 
pictures  out  of  our  Lord's  history,  which  he  hung  round 
the  chapel  of  our  Lady  in  the  larger  monastery;  and 
others  to  adorn  St  Paul's  church  and  monastery,  ably 
describing  the  connexion  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament : 
as,  for  instance,  Isaac  bearing  the  wood  for  his  own 
sacrifice,  and  Christ  carrying  the  cross  on  which  he  was 
about  to  suffer,  were  placed  side  by  side.  Again,  the 
serpent  raised  up  by  Moses  in  the  desert  was  illustrated 
by  the  Son  of  Man  exalted  on  the  cross.  Among  other 
things,  he  brought  two  cloaks,  all  of  silk,  and  of  incom- 
parable workmanship,  for  which  he  received  an  estate  of 
three  hides  on  the  south  bank  of  the  river  Were,  near 
its  mouth,  from  king  Alfrid,  for  he  found  on  his  return 
that  Egfrid  had  been  murdered  during  his  absence. 

But,  amid  this  prosperity,  he  found  afflictions  also 
awaiting  his  return.  The  venerable  Easterwine,  whom 
he  had  made  abbot  when  he  departed,  and  many  of  the 
brethren  committed  to  his  care,  had  died  of  a  general 
pestilencei  But  for  this  loss  he  found  some  consolation  in 
the  good  and  reverend  deacon,  Sigfrid,  whom  the  brethren 
and  his  co-abbot  Ceolfrid  had  chosen  to  be  his  successor. 
He  was  a  man  well  skilled  in  the  knowledge  of  Holy 
Scripture,  of  most  excellent  manners,  of  wonderful  con- 
tinence, and  one  in  whom  the  virtues  of  the  mind  were 
in  no  small  degree  depressed  by  bodily  infirmity,  and  the 
innocency  of  whose  heart  was  tempered  with  a  baneful 
and  incurable  affection  of  the  lungs. 

Not  long  after,  Benedict  himself  was  seized  by  a 
disease.  For,  that  the  virtue  of  patience  might  be  a 
trial  of  their  religious  zeal,  the  Divine  Love  laid   both  of 


BENEDICT  BISCOP.  235 

them  on  the  bed  of  temporal  sickness,  that  when 
they  had  conquered  their  sorrows  by  death,  He  might 
cherish  them  for  ever  in  heavenly  peace  and  quietude. 
Benedict  died  of  a  palsy,  which  grew  upon  him  for  three 
whole  years ;  so  that  when  he  was  dead  in  all  his  lower 
extremities,  his  upper  and  vital  members,  spared  to  show 
his  patience  and  virtue,  were  employed  in  the  midst  of 
his  Bufferings  in  giving  thanks  to  the  Author  of  his  being, 
in  praises  to  God,  and  exhortations  to  the  brethren.  He 
urged  the  brethren,  when  they  came  to  see  him,  to  observe 
the  rule  which  he  had  given  then.  'For,'  said  he,  'you 
cannot  suppose  that  it  was  my  own  untaught  heart  which 
dictated  this  rule  to  you.  I  learnt  it  from  seventeen 
monasteries,  which  I  saw  during  my  travels,  and  most 
approved  of,  and  I  copied  these  institutions  thence  for 
your  benefit.'  The  large  and  noble  library,  which  he  had 
brought  from  Rome,  and  which  was  necessary  for  the 
edification  of  his  church,  he  commanded  to  be  kept  entire, 
and  neither  by  neglect  to  be  injured  or  dispersed.  But 
on  one  point  he  was  most  solicitous,  in  choosing  an  abbot, 
lest  high  birth,  and  not  rather  probity  of  life  and  doctrine, 
should  be  attended  to.  'And  I  tell  you  of  a  truth,'  said 
he,  '  in  the  choice  of  two  evils,  it  would  be  much  more 
tolerable  for  me,  if  God  so  pleased,  that  this  place,  where- 
in I  have  built  the  monastery,  should  for  ever  become  a 
desert,  than  that  any  carnal  brother,  who,  as  we  know, 
walks  not  in  the  way  of  truth,  should  become  abbot,  and 
succeed  me  in  its  government.  Wherefore,  my  brethren, 
beware,  and  never  choose  an  abbot  on  account  of  his  birth, 
nor  from  any  foreign  place ;  but  seek  out,  according  to  the 
rule  of  abbot  Benedict  the  Great,  and  the  decrees  of  our 
order,  with  common  consent,  from  amongst  your  own 
company,  whoever  in  virtue  of  life  and  wisdom  of  doctrine 
may  be  found  fittest  for  this  office  ;  and  whomsoever  you 
shall,  by  this  unamious  inquiry  of  Christian  charity,  prefer 
and  choose,  let  him  be  made  abbot,  with  the  customary 
blessings,  in  the  presence  of  the  bishop.  For  those  who 
after  the  flesh  beget  children  of  the  flesh,  must  necessarily 


236  BENEDICT  BISCOP. 

seek  fleshly  and  earthly  heirs  to  their  fleshly  and  earthly 
inheritance ;  but  those  who  by  the  spiritual  seed  of  the 
Word  procreate  spiritual  sons  to  God,  must  of  like  neces- 
sity be  spiritual  in  every  thing  that  they  do.  Among  their 
spiritual  children,  they  think  him  the  greatest  who  is 
possessed  of  the  most  abundant  grace  of  the  Spirit,  in 
the  same  way  as  earthly  parents  consider  their  eldest  as 
the  principal  one  of  their  children,  and  prefer  him  to  the 
others  in  dividing  out  their  inheritance.' 

Nor  must  we,  says  Bede,  omit  to  mention  that  the 
venerable  abbot  Benedict,  to  lessen  the  wearisomenessof  the 
night,  which  from  his  illnes  he  often  passed  without  sleep- 
ing, would  frequently  call  a  reader,  and  cause  him  to  read 
aloud,  as  an  example  for  himself,  the  history  of  the  patience 
of  Job,  or  some  other  extract  from  Scripture,  by  which  his 
pains  might  be  alleviated,  and  his  depressed  soul  be  raised 
to  heavenly  things.  And  because  he  could  not  get  up  to 
pray,  nor  without  difficulty  lift  up  his  voice  to  the  usual 
extent  of  daily  psalmody,  the  prudent  man,  in  his  zeal  for 
religion,  at  every  hour  of  daily  or  nightly  prayer  would 
call  to  him  some  of  the  brethren,  and  making  them 
sing  psalms  in  two  companies,  would  himself  sing  with 
them,  arid  thus  make  up  by  their  voices  for  the  deficiency 
of  his  own. 

Now  both  the  abbots  saw  that  they  were  near  death,  and 
unfit  longer  to  rule  the  monastery,  from  increasing  weak- 
ness, which,  though  tending  no  doubt  to  the  perfection  of 
Christian  purity,  was  so  great,  that,  when  they  expressed 
a  desire  to  see  one  another  before  they  died,  and  Sigfrid 
was  brought  in  a  litter  into  the  room  where  Benedict  was 
lying  od  his  bed,  though  they  were  placed  by  the  attend 
ants  with  their  heads  on  the  same  pillow,  they  had  not 
the  power  of  their  own  strength  to  kiss  one  another,  but 
were  assisted  even  in  this  act  of  fraternal  love.  After 
taking  counsel  with  Sigfrid  and  the  other  brethren, 
Benedict  sent  for  Ceolfrid,  abbot  of  St  Paul's,  dear  to  him 
not  by  relationship  of  the  flesh,  but  by  the  ties  of  Christian 
virtue,  and  with  the  consent  and  approbation  of  all,  made 


BENEDICT.  237 

him  abbot  of  both  monasteries  ;  thinking  it  expedient  in 
every  respect  to  preserve  peace,  unity,  and  concord  between 
the  two,  if  they  should  have  one  father  and  ruler  for  ever, 
after  the  example  of  the  kingdom  of  Israel,  which  always 
remained  invincible  and  inviolate  by  foreign  nations  as 
long  as  it  was  ruled  by  one  and  the  same  govenor  of  its 
own  race ;  but  when  for  its  former  sins  it  was  torn  into 
opposing  factions,  it  fell  by  degrees,  and,  thus  shorn  of 
its  ancient  integrity,  perished.  He  reminded  them  also 
of  that  evangelical  maxim,  ever  worthy  to  be  remem- 
bered,— '  A  kingdom  divided  against  itself  shall  be  laid 
waste.' 

Two  months  after  this,  God's  chosen  servant,  the 
venerable  abbot  Sigfrid,  having  passed  through  the  fire 
and  water  of  temporal  tribulation,  was  carried  to  the  rest- 
ing-place of  everlasting  repose  :  he  entered  the  mansion 
of  the  heavenly  kingdom,  rendering  up  whole  offerings  of 
praise  to  the  Lord  which  his  righteous  lips  had  vowed ; 
and  after  another  space  of  four  months,  Benedict,  who  so 
nobly  vanquished  sin  and  wrought  the  deeds  of  virtue, 
yielded  to  the  weakness  of  the  flesh,  and  came  to  his  end. 
Night  came  on  chilled  by  the  winter's  blasts,  but  a  day  of 
eternal  felicity  succeeded,  of  serenity  and  of  splendour. 
The  brethren  met  together  at  the  church,  and  passed  the 
night  without  sleep  iD  praying  and  singing,  consoling 
their  sorrow  for  their  father's  departure  by  one  continued 
outpouring  of  praise. 

His  death  occurred  on  the  ]  4th  of  January,  690. — Vita 
Beatorum  Abbatum  Wiremuthensium  et  Girvensium  Bene- 
dicti,  d'G.  auctore  Beda.    Edit.  Giles. 

Benedict,  of  Peterborough,  was  born  in  the  twelfth 
century,  and  educated  at  Oxford,  where  he  was  made  a 
doctor  in  divinity ;  becoming  a  benedictine  monk  in 
Christ  church,  Canterbury,  he  was  elected  prior  of  that 
house.  Though  a  great  admirer  of  Thomas  a  Becket,  he 
was  so  much  esteemed  by  Henry  II,  that  by  the  influence 
of  that  prince,  he  obtained  the  abbacy  of  Peterborough  in 


238  BENEDICT. 

the  year  1177.  He  assisted  at  the  coronation  of  Richard  I. 
in  1189,  and  was  made  keeper  of  the  great  seal  in  1191. 

He  wrote  the  life  of  Thomas  a  JBecket,  and  has  been 
called  by  Bale  a  vile  impostor ;  but  the  censure  of  Bale 
will  not  much  damage  any  reputation,  the  character 
of  that  bishop  of  Ossory,  for  scurrility,  being  too  well 
known.  (See  his  life.)  Dr  Cave  informs  us  that  the 
author  of  the  "  Quadrilogus"  transcribed  the  greater  part 
of  Benedict's  life  of  Becket  into  the  third  and  fourth 
books  of  his  work. 

Benedict  died  on  Michaelmas  day,  1193.  Biog.  Brit 
Leland.    Bale.   Nicholson. 

Benedict,  of  Gloucester,  a  monk  of  the  great  abbey 
there,  of  whose  time  nothing  is  known.  He  has  left  a 
life  of  Dubricius,  archbishop  of  Caerleon,  printed  by 
Wharton,  (Anglia  Sacra,  ii.  654.)  This  relates  the  trans- 
lation of  Dubricius,  in  1120;  consequently  the  author 
must  have  lived  after  that  year,  and  the  MS.  used  is 
thought  not  much  later.     (Angl.  Sacr.  ii.  Prcpf.) 

Benedict,  of  Norwich,  a  learned  monk,  author  of  several 
works,  one  of  which  was  entitled,  Alphabetum  Aristotelis. 
He  died  and  was  buried  at  Norwich  in  the  year  1340. 

Benedict,  or  Benoist,  was  born  in  Languedoc  a.  d. 
750.  He  was  son  of  Aigulfe,  count  of  Languedoc,  who  was 
distinguished  by  his  fidelity  to  king  Pepin,  and  by  the 
courage  with  which  he  defeated  the  Gascons,  who  invaded 
his  territories.  Aigulfe  sent  his  son  Benoist  to  the  court 
of  Pepin,  where  he  first  served  as  cup-bearer,  and  was 
afterwards  in  the  army.  After  the  death  of  Pepin,  he 
entered  the  service  of  Charlemagne.  An  accident  by 
which  he  was  nearly  drowned  struck  him  so  forcibly  that 
he  then  began  in  earnest  to  think  of  his  salvation  :  he 
resolved  to  retire  from  the  world,  quitted  his  parents,  and 
intended  to  go  to  Aix  la  Chapelle,  but  passing  through 
Burgundy,  he  stopped  at  the  abbey  of  St  Seine,  in  the 


BENEDICT.  239 

diocese  of  Langres,  near  Dijon,  and  became  a  monk  in  that 
house. 

Two  years  and  a  half  were  passed  by  him  in  austerities 
and  fastings ;  and  when  the  abbot  of  St  Seine  died,  the 
monks  wished  to  elect  Benoist  into  his  place,  which  he 
declined,  again  passed  into  Languedoc  (780,)  and  there 
built  a  hermitage  near  a  chapel  dedicated  to  St  Saturninus, 
situated  upon  the  stream  called  the  Aniane.  This  hermit- 
age increased  by  degrees  until  it  became  a  considerable 
convent,  where  there  were  300  monks.  The  zeal  of  Benoist 
of  Aniane  became  noted,  and  led  him  to  undertake  the 
reformation  of  monasteries,  and  the  restoration  of  disci- 
pline, both  monastic  and  ecclesiastical  :  he  also  withstood 
the  errors  of  Felix  of  Elipandis. 

Louis  the  Debonaire  sent  for  Benoist  and  made  him 
chief  over  all  the  monasteries  in  France.  He  assisted  at 
the  council  of  Aix  la  Chapelle,  and  presided  over  an 
assembly  of  abbots,  at  which  he  drew  up  rules  and  statutes 
to  regulate  the  monastic  life ;  these  were  authorized  by 
the  king,  and  sent  to  all  the  religious  houses  in  France. 

Benoist  died  in  821,  at  the  monastery  of  Inde,  called 
since  St  Cornelius,  which  he  had  established  near  Aix  la 
Chapelle.  This  holy  abbot  was  in  France  and  Germany 
what  St  Benedict  was  in  Italy.  He  compiled  a  collection 
of  rules  belonging  to  the  Eastern  and  Western  monks, 
called  Codex  Regularum,  with  a  concord,  to  shew  the 
superiority  of  the  rule  of  St  Benedict.  He  also  prepared 
a  collection  of  homilies  from  the  fathers,  and  a  peni- 
tential office. 

The  life  of  Benoist  of  Aniane  was  written  by  Ardon 
Shearagdus,  and  given  with  a  collection  of  his  works  in 
1648,  together  with  curious  notes  by  Hugo  Mainard,  a 
learned  Benedictine. — Mabillon.  Bulteaus  Hist.  Monast. 
d'Ocad.  Herschinus  Dissert,  sur  Benoit  d 'Aniane*  Baillet 
vies  des  Saints.    Dnpin. 

Benedicttjs,  Peter,  was  born  at  Gusta,  in  Phoenicia, 
in   1663.      He  received  his  education  in  the  Maronite 


240  BENEDICT. 

college  at  Rome,  where  he  made  a  great  progress  in 
Oriental  learning.  After  occupying  the  Hebrew  professor- 
ship at  Pisa,  at  the  age  of  forty-four  he  became  a  Jesuit, 
but  without  losing  the  respect  in  which  he  was  held  by 
the  Maronites.  He  died  at  Rome  in  1742.  He  com- 
menced an  edition  of  Ephrem  Syrus,  his  venerable 
countryman,  a  father  of  the  Church;  the  edition  was 
completed  by  Assemanni.  Benedictus  also  translated 
part  of  the  Greek  menology. — Biog.  Univ. 

Benedict,  Rene,  or  Renatus,  a  doctor  of  the  Sorbonne, 
and  curate  of  St  Eustathius,  at  Paris,  was  born  at 
Sevenieres,  near  Angers.  He  secretly  inclined  to  pro- 
testantism, and  published  at  Paris  the  French  translation 
of  the  Scriptures,  made  by  the  reformed  ministers  at 
Geneva.  The  version,  after  having  been  approved  by 
several  doctors  of  the  Sorbonne,  and  a  privilege  granted  for 
printing  it,  was  on  publication  condemned,  no  doubt  on 
account  of  its  origin  being  discovered.  He  was  confessor 
to  Mary  queen  of  Scots  when  she  was  in  France.  Some 
time  before  the  death  of  Henry  III.  of  France,  Benedict 
published  a  book  entitled  Apologie  Catholique,  to  shew 
that  the  protestantism  of  Henry  of  Navarre  was  not  a 
sufficient  reason  to  deprive  him  of  his  right  of  succes- 
sion to  the  throne,  because  the  Huguenots  admitted  the 
fundamental  articles  of  the  catholic  faith,  and  because  the 
ceremonies  and  practices  which  they  rejected  were  not 
observed  in  the  primitive  church.  He  contended  also  that 
the  council  of  Trent  which  condemned  them,  was  neither 
a  general  council,  nor  acknowledged  by  the  church  of 
France.  Benedict  assisted  in  the  assembly  at  St  Denis, 
which  advised  Henry  of  Navarre  to  be  reconciled  to  the 
church,  for  which  that  monarch  appointed  him  bishop 
of  Troyes,  but  he  could  never  be  induced  to  apply  for  the 
papal  bulls,  so  that  he  only  enjoyed  its  temporalities. 
He  died  at  Angers  in  1608.  His  works  are — 1.  Apologie 
Catholique.  2.  History  of  the  Coronation  of  Henry  IV. 
8vo. — Moreri. 


BENEFIELD.  241 

Benedicttjs,  Levita,  flourished  in  the  early  part  of  the 
ninth  century,  and  was  a  deacon  of  Mentz.  He  is  chiefly 
distinguished  as  the  author  of  a  collection  of  capitularies 
in  three  books,  which  he  compiled  at  the  request  of  Otgar, 
archbishop  of  Mentz,  about  the  year  847.  It  is  joined  to 
the  four  books  of  Ansegisus,  and  forms  the  fifth,  sixth, 
and  seventh  books  of  capitularies. — Biog.  Univ. 

Benefield,  Sebastian,  of  the  seventeenth  century, 
born  at  Prestbury,  in  Gloucestershire,  August  12th,  1559. 
He  was  admitted  a  scholar  of  Corpus  Christi  college,  in 
Oxford,  August  30th,  1586,  and  chosen  probationer- 
fellow,  April  16th,  1590.  After  he  had  taken  his  degree 
of  master  of  arts,  he  entered  into  holy  orders ;  and  in 
1599,  was  appointed  rhetoric  reader  in  his  college,  and 
the  year  following  admitted  to  the  reading  of  the  sen- 
tences. In  1608,  he  took  the  degree  of  doctor  of  divinity, 
and  five  years  after,  was  appointed  Margaret  professor  of 
divinity  in  that  university.  He  discharged  this  office 
with  great  success  for  fourteen  years,  when  he  resigned 
it,  and  retired  to  his  rectory  of  Meysey  Hampton,  near 
Fairford,  in  Gloucestershire,  into  which  he  had  been  in- 
ducted several  years  before.  He  spent  here  the  remainder 
of  his  life;  and  was  eminent  for  piety,  integrity,  and 
extensive  learning.  He  was  well  skilled  in  all  arts  of 
knowledge,  and  extremely  conversant  in  the  writings 
of  the  fathers  and  schoolmen.  He  was  a  sedentary 
man,  and  fond  of  retirement,  which  rendered  him  less 
easy  and  affable  in  conversation.  He  was  particularly 
attached  to  the  opinions  of  Calvin,  especially  that  of 
predestination ;  so  that  he  has  been  styled  a  downright 
and  doctrinal  Calvinist.  He  died  at  Meysey  Hampton, 
August  24th,  1630,  and  was  buried  in  the  chancel  of  the 
church,  on  the  29th  of  the  same  month.  He  wrote  the 
following  treatises  : — 1.  Doctrinse  Christianas  sex  capita 
totidem  praelectionibus  in  schola  Theolog.  Oxon.  pro 
forma  habitis  discussa  et  desceptata.  Oxford,  1610,  4to. 
vol.  it.  x 


242  BENGEL. 

2.  Appendix  ad  caput  secundum  de  conciliis  Evangelicis 
etcet.  ad  versus  Humphredum  Leech.  3.  Eight  sermons 
publicly  preached  in  the  university  of  Oxford,  the  second 
at  St  Peter's  in  the  East,  the  rest  at  St  Mary's  church. 
Oxford,  1614,  in  4to.  4.  The  siu  against  the  Holy  Ghost, 
and  other  Christian  doctrines,  delivered  in  twelve  sermons, 
upon  part  of  the  tenth  chapter  of  the  epistle  to  the 
Hebrews.  Oxford,  1615,  in  4to.  5.  A  Commentary,  or 
Exposition  upon  the  first  chapter  of  Amos,  delivered  in 
twenty-one  sermons,  in  the  parish  church  of  Meysey 
Hampton,  in  the  diocese  of  Gloucester.  Oxford,  1613,  in 
4to.  6.  Several  sermons.  7.  Commentary,  or  Exposition 
upon  the  second  chapter  of  Amos,  delivered  in  twenty-one 
sermons,  in  the  parish  church  of  Meysey  Hampton,  &c. 
London,  1620,  in  4to.  8.  Prselectiones  de  perse verantia 
sanctorum.  Francfort,  1618,  in  8vo.  9.  Commentary,  or 
Exposition  on  the  third  chapter  of  Amos,  &c.  London, 
1629,  in  4to.  10.  A  Latin  sermon  upon  Revelations. 
— Biog.  Brit. 

Bengel,  or  Bengelius,  was  born  at  Winnedin,  in 
Wirtemberg,  in  1687,  and  became  divinity  professor  at 
Tubingen,  in  Suabia.  His  works  are — 1.  Novi  Testa- 
menti  Graeci  recte  cauteque  adornandi  prodromus,  8vo. 
2.  Notitia  Nov.  Test.  Graec.  recte  cauteque  adornati,  8vo. 
o.  Novum  Test.  Grsec.  cum  introductione  in  Crisin  N.  T. 
Apparatu  Critico  et  Epilogo,  4to.  4.  Gnomon  Nov.  Test. 
4to.  5.  Cyclus,  sive  de  anno  magno  solis,  lunae,  stellarum 
consideratio,  &c.  8vo,  6.  Ordo  Temporum,  8vo.  He  held 
the  doctrine  of  the  millenium,  the  commencement  of  which 
he  placed  in  the  year  1836.  Dr  John  Piobertson  published 
a  translation  of  his  Introduction  to  the  Exposition  of  the 
Apocalypse,  Svo.  1757.  His  edition  of  the  New  Testament 
created  a  great  sensation  in  the  theological  world  at  its 
first  appearance,  though  his  labours  as  a  critic  have  been 
superseded  by  Witstein.  He  died  in  1752. — Bp.  Marsh's 
Lectures.     Gen.  Diet. 


BENIGNUS.  243 

Benignus  was  the  son  of  Sesgnen,  a  man  of  power  and 
wealth  in  Meath,  who  hospitably  entertained  St  Patrick 
in  the  year  433.  The  following  account  of  him  is  given 
by  Jocelin  : 

"  Sesgnen  had  a  son,  whom  St  Patrick  baptized,  and 
adapting  his  name  to  his  disposition,  called  him  Benignus  ; 
and,  in  truth,  his  life  and  temper  made  good  the  name  ; 
for  he  was  gentle  and  good  natured,  beloved  by  God  and 
men,  and  worthy  of  glory  and  honour  both  in  this  world 
and  the  next.  This  youth  stuck  close  to  the  side  of  the 
prelate,  and  could  by  no  means  be  kept  asunder  from  him : 
for  when  the  holy  man  was  going  to  take  his  rest,  this 
most  pure  child  running  from  his  father  and  mother,  cast 
himself  at  his  feet,  and  pressing  them  with  his  hands  to 
his  breast,  and  imprinting  many  kisses  thereon,  rested 
with  him.  On  the  morrow,  when  St  Patrick  was  pre- 
pared for  his  journey,  and  ready  to  get  into  his  chariot, 
the  boy  laid  hold  of  his  foot  beseeching  and  adjuring  him 
not  to  leave  him  behind ;  and  when  both  his  parents 
would  have  separated  him  from  their  guest,  and  retained 
him  with  them,  the  lad,  with  tears  and  lamentations, 
begged  them  to  let  him  go  with  his  spiritual  father.  The 
Saint,  seeing  such  great  devotion  in  so  tender  a  heart  and 
body,  blessed  him  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  ;  and,  taking 
him  up  in  his  chariot,  prophesied,  '  That  he  should  be 
the  successor  of  his  ministry,  as  indeed  he  was :  for  this 
same  Benignus  succeeded  St  Patrick  in  the  government 
of  his  bishopric  and  primacy  of  all  Ireland  ;  and,  at  length, 
being  celebrated  for  his  great  virtues  and  miracles,  he 
rested  in  the  Lord."' 

It  is  supposed  that  he  was  baptized  by  the  name  of 
Stephen,  which  accordingly  is  one  of  the  appellations 
given  to  him.  He  obtained  the  name  of  Benin,  whence 
Benignus,  from  the  sweetness  of  his  disposition,  the  word 
Bin  in  the  Irish  language  signifying  sweet.  He  was  the 
constant  companion  of  St  Patrick  through  the  entire  course 
of  his  mission,  and  by  some  writers  it  is  supposed  that 
the  government  of  the  church  was  consigned  to  him  during 


244  BENNET. 

the  lifetime  of  that  prelate ;  he  certainly  succeeded  to  the 
see  of  Armagh  in  the  year  455.  Several  poems  regulating 
the  tributes  and  privileges  of  the  monarchs  and  provincial 
kings  of  Ireland,  which  are  still  extant  in  the  Irish  lan- 
guage, are  attributed  to  Benignus,  and,  as  Mr  Todd  ob- 
serves, are  some  proof  that  the  Church  had  so  advanced 
in  his  time,  as  to  be  permitted  to  take  an  interest  in  the 
civil  affairs  of  the  country.  According  to  William  of 
Malmesbury,  he  relinquished  his  see  before  the  end  of  his 
life,  and  died  a  hermit  at  Firlingmore,  near  Glastonbury. 
— Usher.   Biog.  Brit.    Todd's  Hist,  of  the  Irish  Church. 

Bennet,  Thomas,  was  born  in  1673,  and  sent  to  St 
John's  college,  Cambridge,  in  1688.  In  1699  he  pub- 
lished an  Answer  to  the  Dissenters'  Pleas  for  Separation. 
In  the  next  year  he  was  presented  by  bishop  Compton 
to  the  rectory  of  St  James's,  Colchester,  where  he  became 
an  active  parish  priest.  He  now  published  his  Confuta- 
tion of  Popery,  which  was  followed  in  1702  by  a  Discourse 
of  Schism  ;  in  which  he  shews  what  is  meant  by  schism ; 
that  schism  is  a  damnable  sin ;  that  there  is  a  schism 
between  the  church  of  England  and  the  dissenters. 
That  this  schism  is  to  be  charged  on  the  dissenters' 
side ;  that  the  modern  pretences  of  toleration,  agree- 
ment in  fundamentals,  &c.  will  not  excuse  the  dissenters 
from  being  guilty  of  schism.  In  1705  he  printed  at 
Cambridge  his  Confutation  of  Quakerism,  and  in  1708 
A  Brief  History  of  the  joint  use  of  Precomposed  Forms  of 
Prayer,  in  which  he  shews  that  the  ancient  Jews,  our 
Saviour,  His  Apostles,  and  the  primitive  Christians,  never 
joined  in  any  prayers,  but  precomposed  set  forms  only  ; 
that  those  precomposed  set  forms,  in  which  they  joined, 
were  such  as  the  respective  congregations  were  accus- 
tomed to,  and  throughly  acquainted  with ;  and  that 
their  practice  warrants  the  imposition  of  a  national  pre- 
composed liturgy.  To  this  treatise  he  has  annexed  a 
discourse  of  the  gift  of  prayer,  the  intent  of  which  is  to 
shew,  that  what  the  dissenters  mean  by  the  gift  of  prayer, 


BENNET. 

viz.  a  faculty  of  conceiving  prayers  extempore,  is  not 
comprised  in  Scripture.  In  the  same  year  he  published 
his  discourse  On  Joint  Prayers,  wherein  he  points  out, 
what  is  meant  by  joint  prayer,  that  the  joint  use  of  prayers 
conceived  ex  tempore,  hinders  devotion,  and  consequently 
displeases  God ;  whereas  the  joint  use  of  such  precom- 
posed  set  forms,  as  the  congregation  is  accustomed  to,  and 
throughly  acquainted  with,  does  effectually  promote  de- 
votion, and  consequently  is  commanded  by  God ;  that 
the  lay  dissenters  are  obliged,  upon  their  own  principles, 
to  abhor  the  prayers  offered  in  their  separate  assemblies, 
and  to  join  in  communion  with  the  Established  Church 
This  treatise  was  animadverted  upon  in  several  places. 
In  1709  he  published  in  8vo.  his  Paraphrase  with  anno- 
tations, on  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer,  in  which  he 
observes  that  the  using  of  the  morning  prayer,  the  litany, 
and  communion  service  at  one  and  the  same  time,  in  one 
continued  order,  is  contrary  to  the  first  intention  and 
practice  of  the  Church.  In  1711  he  published  his  Plights 
of  the  Christian  Church,  to  prove  that  Church  authority 
is  not  derived  from  the  people,  and  that  the  laity  have  no 
divine  right  to  elect  the  clergy  or  choose  their  own  pastors. 
About  this  time  he  took  his  DD.  degree.  His  next  im- 
portant publication  was  his  "Directions  for  studying.  1.  A 
general  system  of  divinity:  Q.  The  thirty-nine  articles,  to 
which  is  added  St  Jerome's  Epistle  to  Xepotian."  The 
same  year  he  published  his  Essay  on  the  thirty-nine 
articles  agreed  upon  in  1562,  and  revised  in  1571,  in 
which  he  defended  the  genuineness  of  the  then  contro- 
verted clause  in  the  -20th  article.  About  this  time  he  left 
Colchester  and  removed  to  London,  where  he  was  chosen 
lecturer  at  St  Olave's  in  the  Borough,  and  morning  preacher 
at  St  Lawrence  Jewry.  In  1716  he  attacked  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  nonjurors,  in  a  pamphlet  entitled,  "The  Non- 
jurors' Separation  from  the  Public  Assemblies  of  the 
Church  of  England,  examined  and  approved  to  be  Schis- 
matical  on  their  own  Principles."  He  was  soon  after  pie- 
x  g 


'248  BENSON 

sented  to  the  vicarage  of  St  Giles's,  Cripplegate,  where  he 
quickly  became  involved  in  disputes  with  his  parishioners 
on  the  rights  of  his  Church,  to  which  he  recovered  £150 
per  annum.  In  1718  he  engaged  in  the  Trinitarian 
controversy,  in  an  examination  of  Dr  Clarke's  Scripture 
Doctrine  of  the  Trinity.  In  1726  he  published  a  Hebrew 
grammar.  He  died  of  apoplexy  on  October  9,  1728.  On 
many  points  Dr  Bennet's  views  were  latitudinarian,  and 
in  his  controversies  on  the  most  sacred  doctrine  of  the 
Holy  Trinity,  his  positions  have  sometimes  the  appear- 
ance of  being  heterodox. — Gen.  Diet.    Biog.  Brit. 

Bennet,  Benjamin,  a  presbyterian  teacher,  was  born  at 
Whellesburgh,  in  Leicestershire,  in  1674.  After  going 
through  his  academical  exercises  he  settled  as  a  preacher 
at  the  place  of  his  nativity,  from  whence  he  removed  to 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  His  works  are — 1.  A  Memorial  of 
the  Reformation,  8vo,  1721,  a  very  partial  and  unfair 
performance.  2.  A  Defence  of  the  same,  8vo.  3.  Dis- 
courses on  Popery,  8vo.  4.  Irenicum,  or  a  Review  of  some 
late  controversies  about  the  Trinity,  8vo.  5.  Sermons  on 
the  Inspiration  of  the  Holy  Scriptures.  6.  Christian 
Oratory,  8vo.  This  last  work  has  gone  through  numerous 
editions,  and  is  exceedingly  popular.  He  has  the  ill  fame 
of  being  chiefly  instrumental,  by  his  treatise,  entitled 
Irenicum,  alluded  to  above,  in  leading  the  presbyterians 
of  England  to  the  denial  of  the  Saviour,  and  the  rejection 
of  the  God  of  Christians.  He  died  at  Newcastle  in  1706. 
— Gen.  Diet.     Bogue  and  Burnet's  Hist,  of  Dissenters. 

Benson,  George,  was  born  at  Great  Salkeld  in  Cum- 
ber1 and,  in  1699.  He  was  educated  at  Whitehaven,  and 
afterwards  at  Glasgow.  About  1721  he  was  chosen  to 
be  :  be  teacher  of  a  congregation  at  Abingdon,  in  Berkshire, 
fron  whence  he  removed  in  1729  to  Southwark,  and  in 
1  7  succeeded  Dr.  Harris,  at  Crutched  Friars.  One  of 
cotch   universities    gave   him    the    degree  of  DD. 


BENTHAM.  247 

the  dissenters  then  been  willing  to  receive  titles  which 
formerly  they  denounced.  He  was  educated  a  calvinist, 
but  being  a  learned  man,  and  holding  the  right  of  private 
judgment,  he  examined  the  calvinistic  system,  and  found 
it  impossible  to  reconcile  it  with  Scripture ;  but  when  he 
renounced  Calvinism  he  did  not  look  to  the  Church,  but 
following  the  blind  guide  of  his  private  judgment  fell  into 
Arianism.  His  chief  works  are,  A  Defence  of  the  Reason- 
ableness of  Prayer ;  An  Account  of  the  Burning  of  Servetus 
at  Geneva,  and  of  the  Concern  of  Calvin  in  that  Act;  An 
Account  of  Archbishop  Laud's  Treatment  of  Dr  Leighton  ; 
A  Dissertation  on  %  Thess.  ii.  1 — 12,  against  the  church 
of  Rome ;  A  Paraphrase  and  Notes  on  the  Epistle  to 
Philemon,  in  the  manner  of  Mr.  Locke;  which  was 
followed  by  paraphrases  and  notes,  on  the  same  plan,  on 
the  Epistles  to  the  Thessalonians,  Timothy,  and  Titus, 
and  the  Catholic  Epistles.  In  1735  he  published  a 
History  of  the  First  Planting  of  Christianity,  in  two  vols, 
4  to.  He  wrote  also  the  Reasonableness  of  the  Christian 
Religion  as  delivered  in  the  Scriptures ;  a  Collection  of 
Tracts  against  Persecution;  a  volume  of  Sermons;  and 
a  History  of  the  Life  of  Jesus  Christ,  a  posthumous  work, 
published  in  1764.  He  died  in  1763.  He  was  respected 
as  a  man  of  learning,  but  he  was  pedantic  and  wrote  in 
an  affected  style. — Memoirs  prefixed  to  his  Works. 

Bentham,  Thomas,  was  born  about  the  year  1513,  at 
Sherbourne,  in  Yorkshire,  and  became  a  fellow  of  Magda- 
lene college,  Oxford,  in  1543.  He  became  eminent  in 
the  university  as  a  Hebrew  scholar,  and  his  theological 
studies  convinced  him  that  the  Church  required  a  reforma- 
tion. When  first  he  went  to  the  university  the  reforming 
party  was  small,  but  in  spite  of  the  vigilance  of  the  heads 
of  houses,  it  rapidly  gained  ground;  and  when,  in  the 
reign  of  Edward  VI.  the  reformers  were  in  the  ascendant, 
Bentham  embraced  the  cause  of  the  reformation  with 
youthful  ardour.  It  is  said  that  with  Henry  Bull,  of  the 
same  college,  he  once  shook  the  censer  out  of  the  hands 


248  BENTHAM. 

of  some  one  officiating  in  the  college  chapel,  to  prevent, 
as  it  was  said,  incense  being  offered  to  an  idol.  When, 
with  the  accession  of  Queen  Mary,  the  Romanizers 
regained  authority  in  church  and  state,  and,  aided  by  the 
strong  conservative  feeling,  which  had  been  excited  by 
the  excesses  of  the  reforming  ministry  of  Edward  VI. 
they  were  carrying  things  with  a  high  hand,  Bentham 
disdained  to  conceal  his  sentiments.  He  refused  to  be 
present  at  the  service  of  the  Church,  now  performed 
according  to  the  ritual  as  it  existed  before  the  late  reign, 
and  he  also  refused  to  correct  the  scholars  of  his  college 
when  they  absented  themselves  from  chapel.  He  therefore 
became  one  of  the  first  victims  of  the  visitation  under- 
taken by  Gardiner,  bishop  of  Winchester,  in  1553,  and. 
was  deprived  of  his  fellowship.  He  then  went  abroad, 
residing  some  time  at  Zurich  and  Basle,  where  he  became 
preacher  to  the  English  exiles,  expounding  to  them  the 
acts  of  the  apostles,  until  he  was  called  to  a  work  of  greater 
danger.  Many  congregations  remained  in  London  during 
Mary's  reign  in  which  the  doctrine  of  the  reformation 
was  preached,  and  there  was  one  chief  congregation,  the 
pastor  of  which  acted  as  superintendent  over  all  the  others. 
And  this  superintendent  Bentham,  in  the  last  year  of 
queen  Mary's  reign,  became.  They  required  a  fearless 
man,  and  the  fearlessness  of  Bentham  was  such  as  on  one 
occasion  to  bring  him  into  danger.  When  seven  martyrs 
were  to  be  burnt  in  Smithfield,  proclamation  was  made  that 
none  should  speak  to  them,  comfort  them,  or  pray  for  them. 
Bentham,  however,  no  sooner  saw  fire  put  to  the  pile,  than 
he  cried  out,  "  We  know  that  they  are  God's  people  ;  we 
must,  therefore,  wish  them  well,  and  pray  Him  to  strength- 
en them.  Oh,  may  God  Almighty,  for  Christ's  sake,  give 
them  strength."  Loud  shouts  of  "  Amen"  arose  immedi- 
ately on  every  side,  greatly  to  the  confusion  and  amaze- 
ment of  those  who  were  charged  with  this  cruel  execution. 
The  cruelty  of  the  Romanizing  party  had  now  done  its 
work,  and  had  caused  a  re-action  in  men's  minds.  If  pious 
men  had  been  disgusted  with  the  selfishness  and  rapacity 


BENT    AM.  249 

with  which  the  reformers  of  Edward  the  sixth's  reign  had 
applied  to  their  own  aggrandizement,  and  not  the  public 
good,  the  revenues  of  which  they  despoiled  the  Church,  all 
men  were  now  prepared  to  think  any  thing  better  than 
the  awful  severity  with  which  the  ministers  of  Mary  sought 
to  repress  the  reformation  and  silence  their  opponents. 

In  the  second  year  of  queen  Elizabeth's  reign,  Bentham 
was  nominated  to  the  see  of  Coventry  and  Lichfield,  and 
was  consecrated  on  the  21th  of  March,  1559.  Like  others  of 
the  bishops  preferred  in  queen  Elizabeth's  reign,  Bentham 
would  have  been  willing  to  have  carried  the  reformation 
further  than  the  Church  in  convocation,  and  the  queen  as 
head  of  the  state,  would  permit.  The  superintending  pro- 
vidence of  God  protected  His  Church  in  this  land  then,  as 
It  has  often  done  since,  from  the  rashness  of  her  prelates, 
who  have  acted  merely  as  instruments  in  the  hands  of 
God.  May  such  protection  ever  be  vouchsafed  to  the 
blessed  church  of  England  ! 

In  the  year  1565  complaint  was  made  against  the  dio- 
cese of  Coventry  and  Lichfield  for  not  observing  the  orders 
of  the  Church,  for  the  dislike  of  the  ecclesiastical  habits, 
and  some  other  rites.  Bishop  Bentham  was  therefore 
reproved  ;  and  in  consequence  he  appointed,  in  the  be- 
ginning of  this  year,  a  visitation  to  be  held  by  Mr  Sale 
(or  Saul),  some  dignitary  of  that  church.  And  for  the 
better  proceeding  in  this  visitation,  the  bishop  wrote,  by 
his  own  hand,  these  brief  instructions  for  him  to  observe  : 

'  Imprimis,  Whereas  I  and  my  diocese  are  accused  of 
disorders,  used  of  my  clergy,  these  are  to  will  you  to  charge 
them  all  to  behave  themselves  in  their  ministry,  soberly 
and  reverently,  in  all  points  of  clerkly  office,  as  well  within 
the  church  as  without ;  upon  pains  which  may  ensue  for 
the  transgressing  the  queen's  injunctions. 

•  Item,  To  charge  all  and  every  the  clergy  to  make  pre- 
sentments of  those  that  had  not  communicated  that  Easter; 
and  such  as  refused  their  own  churches,  parsons,  vicars, 
or  curates;  and  went  to  other  parishes.  And  in  what 
parishes  they  were  received. 


250  BENTHAM. 

1  To  charge  them  to  make  presentments  of  all  children 
being  full  seven  years  of  age,  and  not  confirmed. 

'  And  to  give  charge  in  their  parishes,  that  in  Rogation 
week,  none  go  about,  but  such  as  the  queen's  injunctions 
do  allow ;  that  is,  substantial  men  of  the  parish,  with  the 
curate. 

1  To  learn,  whether  the  register  book  be  had  and  ob- 
served for  marriages,  christenings,  and  burials. 

'  All  these  and  such  others,  as  you  shall  see  most  meet, 
for  faithful  and  fruitful  service  of  the  ministers  ;  as  in 
appointing  taxes  and  such  like  order,  I  will  you  do  not 
omit.  "        T.  C.  L. 

The  ZSth  of  April,  1565. 

He  published  a  sermon  on  Matt.  iv.  1 — 2.  printed  at 
London.  Bishop  Burnet  says,  he  translated  into  English 
the  book  of  Psalms,  at  the  command  of  queen  Elizabeth, 
when  an  English  version  of  the  Bible  was  to  be  made,  and 
that  he  likewise  translated  Ezekiel  and  Daniel.  He  died 
at  Eccleshall  castle,  in  Staffordshire,  the  seat  belonging  to 
his  see,  February  19,  1578,  aged  65  years. — Wood.  Tanner. 
Strype's  Annals    Memorials.    Cranmer.   Grinded.  Parker. 

Bentham,  Edward,  was  born  at  Ely  in  1707.  He  was 
educated  at  the  school  of  Christ  church,  Oxford,  from 
whence,  in  1723,  he  removed  as  a  member  of  the  univer- 
sity to  Corpus  Christi  college,  and  in  1731  was  chosen 
fellow  of  Oriel-college.  The  year  following  he  took  his 
degree  of  MA.  In  1743  he  obtained  a  prebend  in  the 
cathedral  of  Hereford,  of  which  church  he  was  afterwards 
treasurer.  In  1749  he  proceeded  to  his  doctors  degree, 
and  in  1754  was  promoted  to  the  fifth  stall  in  his  cathe- 
dral. On  the  death  of  Dr  Fanshaw  he  was  nominated 
regius  professor  of  divinity  in  the  university  of  Oxford, 
and  in  1763  was  removed  to  the  eighth  stall  in  the  church 
of  Hereford.  He  died  in  1776.  Besides  some  single 
sermons,  Dr  Bentham  published — 1.  An  Introduction  to 
Moral  Philosophy,  8vo.  2.  A  Letter  to  a  young  Gentle- 
man on  Study ;  with  a  Letter  to  a  Fellow  of  a  College,  8vo. 


BENTLEY.  2.51 

3.  Advice  to  a  young  man  of  rank,  upon  coming  to  the 
University.  4.  Reflections  on  Logic,  with  a  vindication 
of  the  same,  8vo.  5.  Funeral  Eulogies  upon  military 
men,  from  the  Greek,  8vo.  6.  De  Studiis  Theologicis 
Praelectio.  7.  Reflections  upon  the  Study  of  Divinity, 
with  heads  of  a  course  of  Lectures,  8vo.  8.  De  Vita  et 
Moribus  Johannis  Burton,  S.  T.  P.  9.  An  Introduction  to 
Logic,  8vo.  10.  De  Tumultibus  Americanis  deque  eorum 
concitatoribus  similis  meditatio. — Biog.  Brit. 

Bentham,  James,  brother  of  the  preceding,  was  born  at 
Ely.  He  studied  at  Trinity-college,  Cambridge,  and  in 
1738  was  presented  to  the  vicarage  of  Stapleford  in  the 
same  county,  which  he  resigned  three  years  afterwards,  on 
being  appointed  minor  canon  of  Ely.  In  1767  he  was 
presented  to  the  vicarage  of  Wymondham,  in  Norfolk,  but 
resigned  it  the  next  year  for  the  rectory  of  Feltwell  St 
Nicholas,  which  he  exchanged  in  1774  for  the  rectory  of 
North  wold,  an  this  again  for  a  prebendal  stall  in  the 
cathedral  of  Ely,  to  which  was  added  in  1783  the  rectory 
of  Bow-brick-hill.  In  1771  he  published  "  The  History 
and  Antiquities  of  the  conventual  and  cathedral  church  of 
Ely,"  4to. ;  to  which  work  he  prefixed  an  introduction, 
giving  an  account  of  Saxon,  Norman,  and  Gothic  architec- 
ture. This  essay  by  some  strange  mistake  was  ascribed  to 
Gray  the  poet,  and  it  was  not  till  1783  that  Mr  Bentham 
heard  of  the  injustice  done  him,  when  he  asserted  his 
claim  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine.  In  1757  he  published 
proposals  for  a  drainage  of  the  Fens,  and  by  his  exertions 
this  plan  was  carried  into  effect.  On  this  subject  he  also 
printed  a  tract  entitled  "  Considerations  and  Reflections 
upon  the  present  state  of  the  Fens  near  Ely,  8vo.  1778. 
He  died  in  1794,  aged  86.  A  new  edition  of  his  history  of 
Ely  cathedral  was  printed  at  Norwich  in  1812. — Nichols's 
Anecdotes. 

Bentley,  Richard,  was  born  at  Oulton,  in  the  parish  of 
Rothwell,  near  Leeds,   on  the  27th  of  January,  1661 — 2. 


252  BENTLEY. 

The  investigations  of  the  present  learned  vicar  of  Roth- 
well,  the  Rev  John  Bell,  have  not  brought  to  light  any 
anecdotes  of  the  gifted  youth  or  his  family  in  addition  to 
those  already  recorded  by  bishop  Monk ;  nor,  though  he 
received  his  primary  education  at  Methley,  has  a  single 
copy  of  his  verses  been  discovered  by  the  accomplished 
rector  of  that  parish.  From  the  day-school  at  Methley, 
Bentley  was  sent  to  the  grammar  school  at  Wakefield, 
and  at  the  age  of  fourteen  he  entered  as  subsizar  of  St 
John's  college,  Cambridge. 

With  the  exception,  if  even  that  exception  be  allowed, 
of  Joseph  Justus  Scaliger;  Bentley  takes  the  highest  rank 
among  the  classical  soholars  of  any  age.  But  his  biography 
belongs  rather  to  the  history  of  scholars  than  to  that  of 
divines.  Although,  as  a  theological  writer,  he  holds  a  distin- 
guished place,  yet  his  general  character  is  not  that  on  which 
a  Christian  delights  to  dwell.  It  would  not  therefore  be 
consistent  with  the  character  of  this  work  to  enter  into  the 
details  of  his  literary  and  academical  controversies,  and  at- 
tention will  merely  be  called  to  his  labours  as  a  theologian. 
They  commenced  at  an  early  period,  though  they  were 
at  all  times  regarded  as  secondary  to  his  literary  pursuits, 
if  they  were  not  themselves  undertaken  rather  as  an  intel- 
lectual employment  than  as  a  ministerial  duty.  He  was 
ordained  in  March,  1689 — 90,  and  while  yet  a  deacon  he 
was  appointed  to  deliver  the  Boyle  Lecture,  being  the  first 
lecturer  on  that  foundation  :  it  is  scarcely  possible  to  con- 
ceive a  greater  compliment  to  the  merits  of  a  young  man, 
and  throughout  life  Bentley  appears  to  have  considered 
this  distinction  as  the  greatest  of  the  honours  with  which 
he  was  ever  invested.  The  subject  of  his  discourses  was 
a  "  Confutation  of  Atheism,"  and  in  them  the  discoveries 
in  Newton's  Principia  were  applied  to  the  confirmation 
of  natural  theology.  The  Principia  had  been  published 
about  six  years  ;  but  the  sublime  discoveries  of  that  work 
were  yet  little  known,  owing,  not  merely  to  the  obsta- 
cles which  oppose  the  reception  of  novelty,  but  to  the 
difficulty  of  comprehending  the  proofs  whereby  they  are 


BENTLEY.  253 

established.  To  Bentley  belongs,  as  bishop  Monk  remarks, 
the  undoubted  merit  of  having  been  the  first  to  lay  open 
these  discoveries  in  a  popular  form,  and  to  explain  their 
irresistible  force  in  the  proof  of  a  Deity.  This  constitutes 
the  subject  of  his  seventh  and  eighth  sermons;  pieces 
admirable  for  the  clearness  with  which  the  whole  ques- 
tion is  developed,  as  well  as  for  the  logical  precision  of 
their  arguments.  Among  other  topics,  he  shows  how  con- 
tradictory to  the  principles  of  philosophy  is  the  notion  of 
matter  contained  in  the  Solar  System  having  been  once 
diffused  over  a  chaotic  space,  and  afterwards  combined 
into  the  large  bodies  of  the  sun,  planets,  and  secondaries, 
by  the  force  of  mutual  gravitation  ;  and  he  explains  that 
the  planets  could  never  have  obtained  the  transverse  mo- 
tion, which  causes  them  to  revolve  round  the  sun  in  orbits 
nearly  circular,  from  the  agency  of  any  cause  except  the 
arm  of  an  almighty  Creator.  From  these  and  other  sub- 
jects of  physical  astronomy,  as  well  as  from  the  discoveries 
of  Boyle,  the  founder  of  the  lecture,  respecting  the  nature 
and  properties  of  the  atmosphere,  a  conviction  is  irresistibly 
impressed  upon  the  mind  of  the  wisdom  and  benevolence 
of  the  Deity.  We  are  assured  that  the  effect  of  these  dis- 
courses was  such,  that  atheism  was  deserted  as  untenable 
ground ;  or,  to  use  his  own  expression,  the  atheists  were 
1  silent  since  that  time,  and  sheltered  themselves  under 
deism.' 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  the  trustees  of  the  lecture- 
ship selected  so  young  a  man  without  previous  knowledge 
of  his  powers.  By  going  so  early  to  Cambridge,  Bentley 
obtained  the  start  of  his  contemporaries :  and  not  only  had 
his  character  as  a  scholar  and  man  of  genius  been  estab- 
lished at  Cambridge,  but  he  had  made  himself  well  known 
to  the  literary  characters  he  was  accustomed  to  meet  in 
bishop  Stillingfleet's  family,  where  he  resided  as  tutor  to 
the  bishop's  son.  Bishop  Stillingfleet  had  discovered  that 
if  "  he  had  but  humility,  Bentley  would  be  the  most  extra- 
ordinary man  in  Europe."     Moreover  his  character  was 

VOL.  II.  .  y 


254  BENTLEY. 

established  at  the  sister  university,  for  he  had  attended 
young  Stillingfleet  to  Oxford,  where  some  remarks  which 
he  published  on  Maletas,  in  the  form  of  an  epistle  to 
Dr  Neill,  attracted  the  attention  of  the  scholars  of  Europe, 
and  were  praised  for  originality  of  conception,  as  well  as 
for  copious  erudition. 

By  bishop  StilliDgfleet  he  was  preferred  to  a  stall  in 
Worcester  cathedral  in  the  year  1692,  and  he  held  after- 
wards the  rectory  of  Hartlebury,  until  his  pupil,  the 
bishop's  son,  was  old  enough  to  take  it.  In  1696  he  took 
his  degree  of  D.D.  He  had  been  previously  appointed 
royal  librarian :  and  from  a  misunderstanding  between 
him  and  the  honourable  Mr  Boyle  of  Christ-church,  Oxford, 
arose  the  celebrated  Boyle  controversy,  in  which  Bentley 
trampled  upon  his  opponents,  and  in  his  Dissertation  on 
Phalaris,  produced  a  work  which  has  never  been  surpassed 
in  the  combination  of  lively  wit,  logical  acumen,  and 
originality  of  remark,  with  profound  learning.  His  claims 
as  a  scholar  were  now  universally  acknowledged,  and  in 
1699,  he  was  appointed  to  the  mastership  of  Trinity 
college,  Cambridge.  The  appointment  was  made  by  the 
commissioners,  appointed  by  William,  after  the  death  of 
Mary,  to  recommend  fit  persons  to  fill  all  vacancies  in 
ecclesiastical  or  university  preferments  in  the  gift  of  the 
crown.  As  a  calvinist  and  dissenter  the  king  felt  his 
incompetency  to  interfere  in  such  appointments,  and  the 
prerogative  of  the  crown  had  not  yet  been  usurped  by  the 
chief  servant  of  the  sovereign.  In  1701  Bentley  married, 
and  was  in  the  same  year  made  archdeacon  of  Ely. 

Into  an  account  of  the  controversies  in  which  he  was  now 
involved,  and  in  which  he  was  almost  always  in  the  wrong, 
it  is  not,  for  reasons  before  assigned,  our  intention  to  enter: 
we  need  merely  say  that  he  exhibited  throughout  a  sad 
deficiency  in  the  temper  of  a  Christian,  and  even  of  a 
gentleman,  and  it  is  impossible  not  to  regret  the  mis- 
application of  those  immense  powers  of  mind,  which 
enabled  him  for  twenty  eight  years  to  defy  all  ecclesiastical 


BENTLEY.  205 

authority  and  the  censures  of  the  university,  and  against 
all  right  and  law  to  hold  his  post  as  master  of  Trinity 
college. 

Such,  however,  was  the  energy  of  his  mind,  that  not- 
withstanding the  incessant  litigation  in  which  he  was 
involved,  his  labours  as  a  scholar  were  continued  without 
interruption.  In  1711  he  published  his  edition  of  Horace, 
on  which  he  had  been  employed  ten  years,  and  which, 
with  all  its  faults,  and  many  of  them  highly  characteristic 
of  the  man,  was  worthy  of  his  former  fame. 

But  it  was  in  1713  that  he  had  an  opportunity  of  em- 
ploying his  learning  for  the  most  legitimate  of  all  purposes, 
by  his  answer  to  Collins  on  Free-Thinking.  Anthony 
Collins,  wei  are  told  by  bishop  Monk,  was  a  gentleman 
of  education  and  fortune,  who  in  early  life  enjoyed  the 
friendship  of  Locke,  and  had  for  some  years  devoted  him- 
self to  the  dissemination  of  these  principles  of  infidelity, 
to  which  the  theory  of  Locke  legitimately  leads.  Being 
respectable  in  his  private  life,  popular  and  agreeable  in 
his  manners,  and  possessing  an  extensive  acquaintance, 
he  acquired  influence  in  society;  and  so  great  was  his 
zeal  in  the  cause,  that  he  seems  to  have  proposed  to  him- 
self the  character  of  an  apostle  of  irreligion.  At  the  be- 
ginning of  1713  he  published,  without  his  name,  a  book 
styled  '  A  Discourse  of  Free-Thinking,  occasioned  by  the 
Rise  and  Growth  of  a  Sect  called  Free-Thinkers.'  It  is 
but  too  certain  that  deism  had  been  making  considerable 
advance  in  England  since  the  Revolution,  and  that  its 
progress  had  been  aided  by  the  insidious  writings  of 
Shaftesbury,  Toland,  Tindal,  and  other  enemies  of  revealed 
religion.  But  the  assumption  of  a  '  growing  sect'  seems 
to  have  been  an  artifice  designed  to  imply  an  uniformity 
of  opinions,  which  did  not  really  exist,  among  the  im- 
pugners  of  Christianity.  Or  if  the  '  sect'  had  any  thing 
like  '  a  local  habitation  and  a  name,'  it  was  a  small  knot 
of  persons  whose  ordinary  place  of  rendezvous  was  the 
Grecian  coffee-house  near  Temple  Bar;  and  of  them 
Mr  Collins  was  himself  the  centre,     His  present  work, 


256  BENTLEY. 

whether  we  regard  its  literary  merit,  its  power  of  argu- 
ment, or  the  profoundness  of  its  views,  appears  totally 
unworthy  of  the  attention  which  it  excited :  the  learning 
is  superficial,  the  reasoning  unsound,  and  the  information 
upon  general  topics  loose  and  inaccurate ;  while  his  '  sapless 
pages'  (as  Bentley  well  denominates  them)  are  destitute  of 
those  indispensable  requisites,  honesty,  and  candour,  for 
the  absence  of  which  no  merits  can  atone.  Nevertheless, 
this  publication,  intrinsically  so  worthless,  occasioned 
great  sensation :  it  appeared  as  the  manifesto  of  a  party  ; 
it  assumed  the  concurrence  of  almost  all  great  men  of 
every  age  and  country  in  similar  tenets  of  '  free-thinking;' 
and  it  attacked  the  clergy  of  the  church  of  England  with 
especial  severity.  The  authoritative  and  self-sufficient 
tone  in  which  its  positions  are  laid  down,  and  its  perpetual 
appeals  to  ancient  literature,  were  well  calculated  to  entrap 
the  careless  and  half-learned,  who  at  all  times  constitute  a 
large  proportion  of  the  reading  public. 

Many  replies  were  published,  but  Phileleutherus  Lep- 
siensis  had  the  merit  of  demolishing  the  infidel  fabric : 

Nothing,  observes  Dr  Monk,  can  be  more  judicious  or 
effectual  than  the  manner  in  which  Bentley  takes  to  pieces 
the  shallow  but  dangerous  performance  of  the  infidel.  Not 
satisfied  with  replying  to  particular  arguments,  he  cuts  the 
ground  from  under  his  feet,  by  exposing  the  fallacious  mode 
of  reasoning  which  pervades  them  all,  and  the  contemptible 
sophism  which  represents  all  good  and  great  men  of  every 
age  and  country  to  have  been  'free-thinkers,'  and  conse- 
quently partizans  of  his  own  sect.  But  the  happiest  of 
the  remarks  are  those  which  display  the  mistakes  and 
ignorance  of  Collins  in  his  citations  from  classical  writers. 
By  a  kind  of  fatality,  his  translations  are  perpetually  in- 
accurate, and  his  conception  of  the  originals  erroneous : 
and  though  most  of  his  blunders  are  the  effects  of  igno- 
rance, yet  not  a  few  seem  to  arise  from  a  deliberate  inten- 
tion of  deceiving  his  readers.  Never  was  the  advantage 
more  conspicuous  of  a  ripe  and  perfect  scholar  over  a  half- 
learned   smatterer:  while  the  latter  searches  book  after 


BENTLEY.  257 

book  in  pursuit  of  passages  favourable  to  his  own  theory, 
the  former,  familiar  with  the  writings  and  characters  of 
the  authors,  and  accurately  versed  in  their  language,  is 
able  to  take  to  pieces  the  ill-sorted  patchwork  of  irrelevant 
quotations.  These  parts  of  Bentley's  work  are  not  only 
effectual  in  demolishing  his  adversary,  but  are  both  enter- 
taining and  useful  to  the  reader  ;  and  to  them  it  is  owing 
that  the  book  has  experienced  a  fate  so  different  from  that 
of  other  controversial  writings  :  even  the  ablest  and  best- 
written  of  such  pieces  generally  fall  into  oblivion  along 
with  the  dispute  which  gave  them  birth;  but  the  'Re- 
marks of  Phileleutherus'  are  still  read  with  the  same 
delight  as  at  their  first  appearance.  The  fact  of  their 
having  passed  through  a  multitude  of  editions  at  consider- 
able intervals  of  time  marks  a  continuance  of  interest 
among  the  educated  public,  only  to  be  accounted  for  by 
the  intrinsic  value  of  the  work. 

For  this  work  Bentley  received  the  thanks  of  the  univer- 
sity. In  1716  he  designed  a  new  edition  of  the  Greek 
Testament,  and  had  communications  with  Wetstein  upon 
the  subject :  but  although,  having  collected  materials,  and 
caused  several  manuscripts  to  be  collated,  he  raised  a 
considerable  subscription  in  1720  to  enable  him  to  com- 
plete the  work ;  the  plan  was  never  carried  into  effect,  and 
every  sincere  Christian  must  rejoice  that  the  bold  irre- 
verent spirit  of  Dr  Bentley  was  providentially  diverted 
from  a  work  in  which  he  might  have  done  incalculable 
mischief. 

His  labours  seem  not  to  have  injured  his  health,  nor  his 
controversies  to  have  interfered  with  the  regularity  of  his 
life.  In  1726  he  published  his  edition  of  Terence,  by 
which  his  character  as  a  scholar  was  still  maintained  ;  but 
he  exposed  himself  to  much  ridicule  by  undertaking,  at 
the  suggestion  of  queen  Caroline,  an  edition  of  Milton, 
for  which  he  was  perfectly  unqualified,  and  which  was 
received  when  published,  in  1731,  with  universal  disap- 
probation. 

v  2 


258  BERENGARIUS. 

He  was  employed  in  preparing  an  edition  of  Homer, 
when  a  paralytic  stroke,  in  the  year  1739,  put  an  end  to  his 
labours.  In  the  early  part  of  1740  he  lost  his  wife,  and 
he  himself  died  of  pleuritic  fever  on  the  14th  of  July, 
1742. — Bishop  Monk's  Life  of  B entity. 

Berengarius,  or  Berenger,  was  born  at  Tours  about 
the  close  of  the  tenth  or  the  beginning  of  the  eleventh 
century.  He  was  educated  under  Fulbert,  bishop  of 
Chartres,  and  remained  in  that  city  till  the  death  of  that 
prelate.  On  the  death  of  Fulbert,  returning  to  Tours, 
he  was  appointed  lecturer  in  the  public  schools  attached 
to  St  Martin's  church,  of  which  church  he  afterwards 
became  chamberlain,  and  then  treasurer.  His  reason  for 
leaving  Tours  and  going  to  Angers  is  not  known,  but  he 
was  there  appointed  archdeacon  by  the  bishop,  who  goes 
under  the  two  names  of  Eusebius  and  Bruno.  At 
Angers,  as  well  as  at  Tours,  the  disciples  and  followers  of 
Berengarius  were  many  in  number. 

Berengarius  was  born  at  the  period  when  the  doctrine 
of  transubstantiation  was  daily  becoming  more  and  more 
prevalent  in  the  Western  church,  and  that  peculiar  notion 
respecting  the  change  of  substance  in  the  consecrated  ele- 
ments of  the  holy  Eucharist,  he  refused  to  admit.  That 
doctrine  had  been  moulded  into  definite  form,  from  the 
Catholic  doctrine  of  the  real  Presence,  by  Paschasius 
Radbert,  monk,  and  afterwards  abbot  of  Corbie,  who  died 
in  865.  The  novelty  gradually  grew  into  repute,  though 
strongly  protested  against  by  several  able  writers,  such  as 
Ratramnus  and  Rabanus  Maurus  :  it  seemed  to  harmo- 
nize with  the  general  spirit  and  tone  which  theology  was 
tending  to  assume.  But  in  Berengarius  the  new  doctrine 
found  an  opponent,  though,  from  the  prevalence  of  the 
opposite  opinion,  his  more  orthodox  views  could  only  be 
promulged  at  considerable  risk.  Of  the  controversies  in 
which  he  was  involved  we  have  an  account  in  Labbe  and 
Cossart's  Councils,  in  Cave,  in  Mosheim,  and  in  Dupin ; 


BERENGARIUS.  259 

but  the  writer  of  this  article  has  never  seen  the  history  of 
these  important  events  so  fairly  and  yet  briefly  narrated 
as  in  Bowdens  life  of  Gregory  VII;  and  the  reader  will 
be  indebted  for  the  facts  of  the  following  narrative  to  Mr 
Bowden,  a  true  son  of  the  Church,  whose  bright  example 
of  christian  excellence  will  be  referred  to  with  admiration 
by  all  who  knew  him,  while  many  more  than  those  who 
knew  him  personally  have  lamented  his  early  death. 

It  was  in  the  pontificate  of  Leo  IX.  in  1050,  that 
the  troubles  of  Berengarius  began.  He  had  written  to 
Lanfranc,  at  that  time  master  of  the  monastic  school  at 
Bee,  and  eventually  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  who  had 
adopted  a  different  view  of  the  question,  and  had  concluded 
his  letter,  still  extant,  by  asserting,  that  if  he  considered 
Johannes  Scotus  a  heretic  for  being  opposed  to  the  new 
doctrine,  now  called  transubstantiation,  he  must  give  the 
same  character  to  St  Ambrose,  St  Jerome,  St  Augustine, 
and  others.  Lanfranc  was  at  Piome  when  the  letter  was 
sent  to  him  in  Normandy  :  it  was  read,  however,  by  some 
of  the  clergy,  commissioned  probably  to  open  his  letters 
during  his  absence,  and  by  them  forwarded  with  indignant 
remarks  to  Rome.  It  was  written  in  a  friendly  spirit,  and 
on  that  account  it  was  insinuated  that  Lanfranc  must 
himself  be  inclined  to  the  opinions  of  Berengarius.  This 
will  account  for  Lanfranc's  laying  the  letter  before  a  synod 
then  assembled  at  Rome,  where  he  disavowed  all  partici- 
pation in  the  opinions  of  Berengarius,  and  Berengarius 
himself  absent  and  unheard  was  censured.  And  this  sen- 
tence was  shortly  confirmed  by  a  council  held,  under  the 
same  pontiff,  at  Vercelli.  At  this  latter  meeting,  Beren- 
garius was  summoned  to  appear  and  defend  himself ;  and 
he  declares, — in  his  book  "  de  Sacra  Ccena,"  fol.  16 — that 
he  was  -willing  to  have  complied  with  the  summons  ;  but 
that  the  king  of  France, — who  was.  officially,  the  abbot  of 
the  church  to  which  he  belonged,  and  whose  leave  it  was 
incumbent  on  him  to  procure  for  the  journey, — prevented 
and  confined  him.  He  presented  himself,  however,  before 
Hildebrand,  when  the  latter  held,  as  papal  legate,  a  coun- 


260  BERENGARIUS. 

cil  at  Tours,  in  1054.  And  in  him  he  found,  according 
to  his  own  account,  a  most  favourable  judge.  Hildebrand 
listened  to  his  arguments  with  mildness  and  attention, 
and  himself  so  far  supported  those  arguments,  as  to  bring 
to  the  council  the  works  of  many  authors,  and  to  refer  the 
prelates  who  sat  with  him  to  various  passages,  explaining 
and  confirming  the  tenets  of  the  accused.  The  legate 
indeed  expressed  a  wish  that  Berengarius  should  present 
himself  before  pope  Leo  in  person ;  that  by  his  authority 
the  clamours  against  him  might  be  definitely  quelled ;  and 
the  prelates  of  the  council  expressed  themselves  satisfied 
when  the  archdeacon  of  Angers  made  before  them,  verbally 
and  in  writing,  the  declaration — which  he  says  he  most 
heartily  did — "  that  the  bread  and  wine  of  the  altar  are 
truly  after  consecration  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ." 

Confiding  in  his  powerful  friend,  Berengarius, — when 
summoned  to  Rome  in  1059,  during  the  pontificate  of 
Nicholas  II — hesitated  not  to  present  himself  before  the 
papal  throne.  But  the  result  of  this  step  must  have  sorely 
disappointed  him.  Headed  by  the  cardinal  bishop  Hum- 
bert, the  party  of  his  opponents  was  predominant  in  the 
Lateran.  Hildebrand  was  unable  efficiently  to  protect 
him ;  the  pope  was  cold  and  unfriendly.  Awed  by  the 
tumultuous  clamours  around  him,  and  at  the  same  time 
appalled  by  the  fear  of  instant  death,  Berengarius  felt  his 
firmness  forsake  him ;  and  renouncing  the  opinion  which 
he  had  till  then  maintained,  he  adopted,  as  his  own,  the 
following  confession  :- — 

"I,  Berengarius  .  .  .  anathematize  every  heresy,  and 
more  particularly  that  of  which  I  have  hitherto  been  ac- 
cused ...  I  agree  with  the  holy  Roman  Church  .  .  .  that 
the  bread  and  wine  which  are  placed  on  the  altar,  are, 
after  consecration,  not  only  a  sacrament,  but  even  the  true 
Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ ;  and  that  these 
are  sensibly,  and  not  merely  sacramentally,  but  in  truth, 
handled  and  broken  by  the  hands  of  the  priest,  and  ground 
by  the  teeth  of  the  faithful.  And  this  I  swear  by  the  holy 
and  consubstantial  Trinity,   and  by  these  holy  gospels  of 


BERENGARIUS.  261 

Christ."  Berengarius  was  then  allowed  to  return  to 
France,  where,  freed  from  the  urgent  terrors  which  had 
overpowered  him,  he  soon  showed,  by  returning  to  the 
inculcation  of  his  former  doctrines,  the  insincerity  of 
his  compulsory  recantation.  He  continued,  however, 
some  years  unmolested.  Alexander  II,  whether  guided 
by  the  dictates  of  his  own  mild  disposition,  or  by  the  in- 
fluence of  his  great  minister  and  adviser,  forbore  from  all 
attempts  to  move  him  by  public  censures,  or  by  any  other 
mode  than  that  of  friendly  expostulation.  And  Gregory 
VII.  we  may  imagine,  would  willingly  have  allowed  the 
supposed  heretic  to  continue  in  tranquillity.  But  as  the 
stoinns  of  his  pontificate  rolled  more  loudly,  as  party 
spirit  was  kindled  and  aroused  throughout  the  Western 
church  to  daily  increasing  exacerbation,  this  subject, 
among  others,  was  taken  up  with  clamour;  and  his 
opponents,  by  whom  Gregory's  views  on  the  subject 
were  more  than  suspected,  saw,  it  is  probable,  in  an 
attack  on  Berengarius,  a  likely  mode  of  assailing  and 
annoying  the  pontiff  himself.  The  influence  of  the  latter 
over  his  conclave,  grew  feeble,  his  enemies,  even  in 
his  own  councils,  threatened  to  overpower  him, — and 
Gregory  was  at  length  compelled  so  far  to  yield  to  their 
demands,  as  to  summon  Berengarius  to  appear  and  defend 
himself  before  the  council  of  November  1078.  But,  upon 
its  assembling,  he  acted  the  part  of  a  friend  to  the  accused. 
Berengarius,  with  his  concurrence,  in  lieu  of  repeating 
the  delaration  made  by  him  in  1059,  made  the  following, 
couched  in  more  general  and  less  stringent  terms.  "  I 
acknowledge  that  the  bread  of  the  altar,  after  consecration, 
is  the  true  Body  of  Christ,  which  was  bom  of  the  Virgin, 
which  suffered  on  the  cross,  and  which  sitteth  on  the  right 
hand  of  the  Father ;  and  that  the  wine  of  the  altar,  after 
it  is  consecrated,  is  the  true  Blood  which  flowed  from  the 
side  of  Christ ;  and  what  I  pronounce  with  my  mouth, 
that  I  declare  I  hold  in  my  heart,  so  help  me  God  and 
these  holy  Gospels." 

And  this  confession  was  no  sooner  made  than  Gregory 


262  BERENGARIUS. 

declared  that  it  was  enough  for  the  Faith,  and  enough  for 
those  who  must  be  fed  with  milk  and  not  with  strong 
meat ;  as  St  Augustine  had  said,  '  What  ye  see  on  the 
altar  is  bread  and  wine,  as  your  eyes  inform  you ;  but, 
according  to  that  which  faith  demands  of  you,  the  bread 
is  the  Body  of  Christ,  and  the  wine  His  Blood.'  He  pro- 
claimed aloud  that  Berengarius  was  no  heretic ;  that  the 
universally  reverenced  Peter  Damiani  had,  in  his  hearing, 
spoken  of  the  sacrifice  of  the  Eucharist  in  terms  opposed 
to  those  insisted  on  by  Lanfranc  and  his  party ;  and  that 
Lanfranc's  authority  was  not  to  be  set  against  that  of  an 
actual  son  of  the  church  of  Rome,  who,  while  not  inferior 
to  Lanfranc  in  depth  of  learning,  far  excelled  him  as  to 
the  zeal  with  which  he  studied  the  divine  word,  according 
to  the  Lord's  own  command,  '  Search  the  Scriptures.' 
And  thus,  in  appearance,  were  appeased  the  clamours  of 
the  archdeacon's  impugners.  Dissatisfaction,  however, 
had  been  excited  by  what  were  considered  the  ambiguous 
terms  of  the  new  confession.  Benno,  Gregory's  inveterate 
enemy,  who  was  able  to  influence  a  powerful  party  in  the 
college  of  cardinals,  was  urgent  in  calling  for  a  statement 
more  specific.  And  it  was  insisted  on,  that  Berengarius 
should  be  detained  in  Rome,  till  the  more  solemn  council 
of  the  following  Lent  should  definitely  decide  upon  his 
case.  With  this  demand  Gregory  was  either  unable,  or 
afraid,  to  refuse  compliance,  and  Berengarius  remained, 
during  the  winter,  in  the  papal  city.  But,  as  Lent  ap- 
proached, the  pontiff  anxiously  endeavoured  to  discover 
some  means  by  which  the  necessity  of  calling  upon  him 
to  remodel  his  confession  might  be  avoided.  He  first 
resolved  to  call  upon  him  to  confirm,  by  oath,  the  confes- 
sion which  he  had  already  made,  and  to  submit  to  the 
ordeal  of  hot  iron  in  proof  of  his  truth.  With  this  pro- 
posal the  accused  expressed  himself  ready  to  comply ;  but, 
while  he  was  preparing  himself  for  the  trial  by  fasting  and 
prayer,  Gregory  announced  a  change  of  purpose.  Sending 
for  Berengarius,  he,  in  the  presence  of  the  bishop  of  Porto, 
thus  addressed  him  : — 


BERENGARIUS.  263 

*  I  doubt  not  thou  thinkest  rightly  enough,  and  in 
accordance  with  the  Scriptures,  respecting  the  sacrifice  of 
Christ ;  but  as  I  am  accustomed,  on  doubtful  occasions,  to 
appeal  to  the  aid  of  the  blessed  Mary,  I  some  days  back 
directed  a  certain  monk,  who  is  my  friend,  to  implore, 
with  prayer  and  fasting,  that  she  would  show  me  with 
certainty  to  which  side  of  this  controversy  I  should  incline ; 
to  the  end  that  I  might  henceforth  remain  fixed  in  my 
opinion.  He  fulfilled  my  request,  and  brought  me,  after 
a  certain  time,  the  blessed  Virgin's  answer.  It  was  to 
the  effect  that  we  need  believe  nothing  respecting  the 
Sacrifice  of  Christ,  but  that  which  the  Scriptures  teach 
us ;  and  that  Berengarius  teaches  nothing  in  opposition 
to  them.' 

And  yet, — notwithstanding  these  demonstrations  of 
favour  and  intended  support, — the  pontiff  was  prevailed 
upon,  or  compelled,  to  command  the  appearance  of  Beren- 
garius, within  a  few  days  of  this  conference  with  him, 
before  the  council  of  Lent,  1079,  and  to  permit  his  op- 
ponents to  tender  for  his  adoption,  a  confession  in  the 
following  re-modelled  form  : — 

'  I  believe  with  my  heart,  and  confess  with  my  mouth, 
that  the  bread  and  wine  which  are  placed  upon  the  altar, 
through  the  mystery  of  holy  prayer,  and  through  the  words 
of  our  Redeemer,  are  substantially  converted  into  the  true, 
proper,  and  life-giving  Body  and  Blood  of  Jesus  Christ 
our  Lord,  so  as,  after  consecration,  to  be  the  true  body  of 
Christ  which  was  born  of  the  Virgin,  which,  as  an  offering 
for  the  salvation  of  the  world,  hung  upon  the  cross,  which 
sitteth  at  the  right  hand  of  the  Father;  and  the  true  blood 
of  Christ  which  flowed  from  His  side ;  and  this  not  only 
by  the  sign  and  virtue  of  a  sacrament,  but  in  properness 
of  nature  and  truth  of  substance.' 

Berengarius,  in  the  exigency  in  which  he  was  placed, 
did  not  hesitate  to  pledge  himself  to  this  document,  or 
even,  in  compliance  with  the  clamours  of  his  accusers,  to 
swear  that  he  adopted  the  words  in  the  sense  which  they 
put  upon  them,  and  not  according  to  any  secret  meaning 


264  BERENGARIUS. 

of  his  own.  And  as  he  thus  disarmed  them  from  taking 
any  further  measures  against  him,  Gregory  lost  no  time 
in  sending  him  to  his  home,  publicly  forbidding  him  to 
teach  any  longer  the  obnoxious  doctrine  which  he  had 
disavowed ;  but  at  the  same  time  directing  a  faithful  friend 
to  accompany  and  protect  him  on  his  way;  and  furnishing 
him  with  a  commendatory  letter,  in  which  he  denounced 
the  censures  of  the  Church  against  all  who  should  presume 
to  do  to  Berengarius,  a  son  of  the  Roman  Church,  any 
injury,  or  to  stigmatize  him  as  a  heretic.  Thus  freed 
from  his  difficulties,  Berengarius, — as  might  have  been 
expected, — avowed,  upon  his  return,  his  original  opinions  ; 
and  ascribed  his  formal  disavowal  of  them  to  the  fear  of 
instant  death.  But  Gregory,  however  urged  on  the  point 
by  the  archdeacon's  enemies,  firmly  refused, — and  to  the 
end  of  his  life  persevered  in  the  refusal, — to  take  any  fur- 
ther measures  against  him. 

The  reader  will  probably  be  surprised  to  find  Hildebrand, 
(Gregory  VII,)  taking  the  protestant  side,  when  the  novel 
doctrine  of  transubstantiation  was  introduced  into  the 
Church. 

Berengarius  continued  during  the  remainder  of  his  life 
unmolested  by  his  opponents ;  and  died  in  peace  at  an 
advanced  age,  on  the  6th  of  January,  1088,  in  his  place 
of  retirement,  the  island  of  St  Come,  near  Tours.  Such 
was  his  religious  and  moral  excellence,  that  he  died  in  the 
odour  of  sanctity,  the  canons  of  Tours  being  accustomed 
for  ages  to  perform  religious  services  annually  over  his 
tomb,  and  his  name  being  inserted  in  the  menology  of  the 
cathedral  of  Angers.  This,  to  Romish  writers  has  been 
perplexing :  they  know  that  at  the  present  time  no  one 
could  die  in  the  odour  of  sanctity,  according  to  the  tenets 
of  Romanism,  who  should  deny  the  doctrine  of  transubstan- 
tiation ;  and  they  are  surprised  to  find  the  contrary  the 
fact,  in  the  eleventh  century.  If  they  refer  to  history 
their  perplexities  will  cease :  although  Berengarius  held 
an  unpopular  doctrine,  yet  impartial  men  knew  that  his 
was  the  ancient  doctrine,   and  even  if  they  differed  from 


BERKELEY.  265 

him  in  opinion,  they  did  not  deem  this  difference  a 
ground  for  his  condemnation.  So  thought  Gregory  VII, 
and  we  may  be  sure  that  the  pope  was  not  singular  in 
his  ideas  upon  the  subject.  Berengarius  admitted  the  real 
Presence,  which  is  necessary  to  render  the  holy  rite  a 
Sacrament  in  the  strict  sense  of  the  term  ;  but  he  would 
not  admit  that  substantial  change  in  the  elements  upon 
which  modern  Romanists  insist,  in  order  that  the  Sacra- 
mental elements  may  become  legitimate  objects  of  adora- 
tion.— Cave.    Dupin.    Mosheim.    Bowden. 

Berkeley,  George.  This  great  and  good  man,  a  saint 
of  the  Anglican  Church,  whose  name  is  connected  with 
the  memorable  line  of  Pope  : 

To  Berkeley  every  virtue  under  heaven  ; 

was  born  on  the  12th  of  March,  1684,  at  Kelchoin,  near 
Thomas-town,  in  the  county  of  Kilkenny,  and  from 
Kilkenny  school,  where  he  received  the  first  part  of  his 
education,  he  removed  at  fifteen  years  of  age  to  Trinity 
college,  Dublin,  of  which  college  he  became  a  fellow  in 
1707.  In  that  year  he  published  his  first  work,  which 
had  been  written  before  he  was  twenty  years  of  age, 
Arithmetica  absque  Algebra  aut  Euclide  demonstrata. 

The  Essay  towards  the  new  Theory  of  Vision,  was 
published  in  1709.  The  author  was  then  in  his  twenty- 
fifth  year.  Reid,  who  has  endeavoured,  throughout  his 
Essays  on  the  Powers  of  the  Human  Mind,  to  depreciate 
the  labours  of  Berkeley  in  the  same  field,  admits  that  "The 
Theory  of  Vision  contains  very  important  discoveries  and 
marks  of  great  genius."  The  work  indeed  contains  two 
discoveries  of  very  considerable  importance,  the  one  limited 
to  the  science  of  optics,  the  other  of  much  more  general 
application.  First,  Berkeley  has  clearly  and  very  simply 
shewn  that  the  eye  is  incapable  of  conveying  to  the  mind 
the  idea  of  distance,  as  measured  from  the  spectator,  by 
observing  that  such  distance  must  be  represented  by  a 

VOL.  II  z 


266  BERKELEY. 

line  placed  with  its  end  towards  the  eye,  which  would  of 
course  present  to  the  eye  a  point  only.  Our  notion  of 
optical  distance  is  in  fact  acquired  by  a  continual  series  of 
experiments  of  the  touch,  and  of  the  bodily  motion  required 
to  bring  ourselves  in  contact  with  an  object,  the  presence 
of  which  only,  but  not  its  distance,  is  intimated  to  us  by 
certain  impressions  on  the  eye.  An  infant  may  be  observ- 
ed making  those  experiments,  and  stretching  out  its  hand 
several  times  short  of  the  object  whose  presence  has  been 
announced  by  the  eye,  before  the  distance  is  accurately 
ascertained.  Persons  who  lose  the  sight  of  one  eye  are 
found  also  to  require  fresh  experimental  tuition  in  the 
measuring  of  distances ;  and  persons  born  blind  from 
cataract,  on  being  couched  at  mature  years,  have  stated 
that  the  objects  touched  their  eyes.  The  treatise  contains 
many  minor  discoveries,  also  of  considerable  interest,  with 
reference  to  the  science  of  optics,  which  flow  naturally  as 
corollaries  from  the  above  ;  and  in  particular  the  author 
suggests  that  "  What  we  see  are  not  solids,  nor  yet  planes 
variously  coloured,  they  are  only  diversity  of  colours."  In 
truth,  if  there  were  no  colour  there  would  be  no  visible 
figure,  as  may  easily  be  seen  if  one  were  to  attempt  to 
delineate  a  circle  or  any  other  figure  on  a  coloured  surface 
with  a  brush  dipped  in  precisely  the  same  colour  :  whilst 
the  colour  is  wet  it  will  be  in  fact  a  different  colour,  and 
will  therefore  shew  the  circle,  but  when  it  becomes  dry 
no  figure  will  be  visible  for  want  of  a  difference  of  colour  ; 
so  if  there  were  nothing  but  white  uncoloured  light  in 
nature,  and  it  were  capable  of  passing  freely  through  all 
bodies  assuming  no  shade,  (i.  e.  no  contrast  of  colour) 
there  would  be  no  visible  figure. 

The  second  of  the  discoveries  we  have  referred  to  is  this, 
that  tangible  figure  is  wholly  distinct  from  visible  figure  ; 
in  other  words,  that  the  table  we  see  is  not  that  which  we 
touch.  The  table  we  see,  if  it  be  circular,  will  appear  in 
most  positions  an  oval  to  the  eye,  it  will  be  smaller  as  we 
retire  from  it,  and  larger  as  we  approach  it,  and  will  be 


BERKELEY.  >67 

continually  shifting  its  form  as  we  alter  our  position,  as 
every  person  acquainted  with  drawing  must  be  well  aware. 
These  changes  do  not  occur  in  the  tangible  table.  Simple 
as  this  remark  appears,  yet  as  Reid  has  observed,  (in  refer- 
ence to  this  discovery)  "the  notion  of  extension  and  figure 
which  we  get  from  sight  only,  and  that  which  we  get  from 
touch,  have  been  so  constantly  conjoined  from  our  infancy 
that  it  required  great  abilities  to  distinguish  them  accu- 
rately, and  to  assign  to  each  sense  what  truly  belongs  to 
it."  This  point,  says  Reid  again,  "  Berkeley  has  laboured 
through  the  whole  of  the  Essay  on  Vision  with  that  un- 
common penetration  and  judgment  which  he  possessed. 
The  experiment  has  in  fact  since  been  repeatedly  made  in 
the  cases  of  persons  operated  on  for  cataract  to  which  they 
had  been  subject  from  birth.  They  have  been  unable  to 
distinguish  a  dog,  for  instance,  from  a  cat  by  sight  till  after 
repeated  trial,  handling  each  animal  first,  and  then  looking 
at  it,  as  a  child  learns  to  refer  the  letters,  when  spelling; 
to  the  pictures  of  the  animals  in  his  spelling-book.  The 
visible  object  is  a  translation  of  the  tangible  into  another 
language — aud  vice  versa." 

We  have  said  that  this  second  discovery  admits  of 
very  general  application.  It  must  have  originally  required 
much  mental  effort  thus  to  sever  ideas  associated  with 
each  other  from  the  earliest  period  of  our  existence,  and 
there  can  be  little  doubt  that  Berkeley  was  thus  led  to  his 
more  extended  speculations  on  what  has  been  usually 
termed  the  existence  of  matter.  In  fact  his  great  work, 
entitled  "  The  Principles  of  Human  Knowledge,"  was  pub- 
lished-in  1710,  the  year  after  the  New  Theory  of  Vision, 
and  this  was  followed  in  1713,  by  "  Three  Dialogues  be- 
tween Hylas  and  Philonous,"  in  which  the  same  views  are 
enforced,  but  in  the  more  popular  form  of  dialogues,  writ- 
ten, too,  in  a  style  to  which  nothing  can  be  found  com- 
parable except  that  of  Plato. 

No  work  has  been  so  much  misunderstood,  or  mis- 
represented, as  "The  Principles  of  Human  Knowledge." 
Berkeley  was  led  by  the  brilliant  results  of  his  analysis  of 


268  BERKELEY. 

the  mental  operations,  relative  to  visible  and  tangible 
figure,  to  apply  his  genius  to  a  searching  investigation  of 
the  received  notions  as  to  material  substance.  It  is  now 
admitted  by  all  that  these  notions  were  in  Berkeley's  time 
most  unsatisfactory.  We  cannot  here  discuss  the  various 
opinions  of  the  ancient  heathen  philosophers  on  this  con- 
fessedly difficult  subject,  but  they  appear  to  have  agreed 
in  regarding  matter  as  co-eternal  with,  and  therefore  in- 
dependent of,  the  Deity  ;  and  the  piety  of  Berkeley  contri- 
buted not  a  little  to  stimulate  him  in  those  researches, 
which  terminated  (as  it  appeared  to  him)  in  a  demonstra- 
tion, that  the  very  existence  of  matter  independently  of 
the  Divine  mind,  cannot  even  be  conceived.  The  system 
of  the  heathen  philosophers  was  not,  as  far  as  regards  the 
eternity  of  matter,  adopted  by  Christians ;  but  various  un- 
satisfactory explanations  were  resorted  to  for  the  purpose  of 
reconciling  the  dogmas  of  Aristotle  with  the  accounts  of 
the  creation,  which  it  has  pleased  God  Himself  to  reveal 
to  us.  Des  Cartes  is  entitled  to  the  merit  of  venturing 
among  the  first  to  question  these  dogmas  or  heathen  tra- 
ditions, as  to  the  origin  and  nature  of  the  inanimate  world; 
and  his  writings,  together  with  those  of  other  meta- 
physicians down  to  and  including  Locke  and  Malebranche, 
contributed  no  doubt  to  clear  the  way  to  those  principles 
which  were  regarded  by  Berkeley  as  the  foundation  of  our 
knowledge.  But  the  difficulty  was  great  with  regard  to  the 
nature  of  what  has  been  called  matter.  The  term  itself 
is  derived  from  the  old  heathen  philosophy,  which  treated 
of  it  as  the  necessary  eternal  material  from  which  the 
Deity  formed  the  world,  it  being  with  them  a  maxim  that 
"  nothing  can  be  made  of  nothing ;"  for  they  never  rose  to 
the  conception  of  an  all  powerful  mind  which  can  originate, 
or  to  the  distinction  between  creating  and  making.  They 
imagined  that  the  operations  of  creation  required  a  sub- 
stance to  work  on,  as  a  human  artist,  in  making  a  watch, 
for  instance,  must  be  furnished  with  the  brass  and  steel 
of  which  it  is  formed.  Now,  whilst  reasoning  upon  a 
different  basis,  and  admitting  the  creation  of  matter  by 


BERKELEY.  Q09 

God,  the  modern  philosophers  had  great  difficulty  in 
describing  of  what  it  consists.  For,  according  to  their  view, 
there  was  still  a  necessity  for  the  substratum  or  ground- 
work of  all  existing  things  perceived  by  the  senses;  but  as 
this  matter  must  be  common  to  every  thing,  it  became 
difficult  to  define  what  common  thing  there  is  in  gold, 
lead,  stone,  animal  and  vegetable  frames,  solids,  liquids, 
air,  &c.  And  after  much  thought  Locke  was  brought  to 
admit  that  extension,  solidity,  figure,  and  motion,  were 
the  only  qualities  he  could  assign  as  essential  to,  and  in- 
separable from,  matter  ;  whilst  he  conceived  colour,  sound, 
taste,  smell,  heat,  and  cold,  to  be  due  to  powers  in  given 
bodies  to  excite  those  sensations  in  our  minds.  Now  to 
Berkeley  this  system  appeared  so  vague  that  he  was  led  to 
analyze  more  clearly  what  it  is  which  produces  the  im- 
pression of  the  so-called  matter  in  our  minds,  and  whether 
there  be  really  any  such  common  material  substance  as 
was  supposed.  Take,  for  instance,  a  bell  into  your  hands 
and  riDg  it,  what  more  do  you  know  about  it  than  this — 
your  eyes  are  impressed  with  one  class  of  sensations,  your 
hands  (with  which  you  may  feel  the  hardness  and  form  of 
the  bell)  with  another,  your  ears  with  another,  and  to  all 
this  combination  of  sensations  you  give  the  name  of  a 
bell.  But  do  you  know  the  ultimate  cause  of  any  one 
class  of  these  sensations,  namely,  the  colour,  or  sound, 
any  more  than  the  ultimate  cause  of  the  hardness  and 
form  which  you  feel  with  your  hands  ?  Is  it  then  a  sound 
distinction  to  say  that  solidity  (or  hardness)  and  figure 
are  essential  qualities,  resembling  something  in  the  body 
itself,  whilst  the  colour  and  sound  are  merely  secondary 
qualities  arising  from  a  power  in  the  bell  to  excite  them '? 
or  rather,  in  fact,  are  not  the  solidity  and  figure  just  as 
much  the  objects  of  sensation  as  the  colour  and  sound, 
being  perceived  by  the  fingers  and  touch,  instead  of  by 
the  eyes  and  ears.  If  you  were  to  see  a  painted  bell  your 
eyes  would  immediately  inform  you  of  one  class  of  sensa- 
tions, which,  by  former  experience  of  your  hands  and  ears, 
z2 


270  BERKELEY. 

you  have  associated  with  the  thing  called  a  bell ;  if  a  bell 
without  a  clapper  be  presented  to  you,  you  bring  another 
class  of  sensations  into  play  by  touching  it ;  if  the  clapper 
be  added,  another  class  of  sensations  is  produced  on  ringing 
it,  and  the  bell  is  complete  :  but  after  all  you  have  nothing 
more  than  a  series  of  sensations,  nor,  try  as  you  will,  can  you 
form  any  conception  of  matter  which  does  not  necessarily 
involve  on  the  one  hand  as  its  definition,  that  it  is  either 
seen,  heard,  tasted,  smelt,  or  felt,  or  which  admits  on  the 
other  hand  of  any  test  of  its  existence  except  by  means 
of  one  of  those  senses  at  least.  Berkeley  was  thus  led  to 
conclude  that  what  has  been  termed  matter  in  reality  means 
nothing  more  than  the  fact  of  our  consciousness  of  divers 
bundles  of  sensations ;  for,  take  away  the  hardness  which 
you  feel,  the  weight  which  presses  on  your  hand,  the  colour, 
the  sound  of  the  bell,  and  what  remains  of  the  fancied  sub- 
stratum of  all  these?  If  this  be  so,  it  follows  that  the  so- 
called  material  objects  are  brought  by  analysis  to  a  con- 
sciousness of  certain  sensations.  It  follows  that  if  there  be 
no  existing  being  capable  of  consciousness,  there  is  no 
possibility  of  conceiving  the  existence  of  matter ;  which 
depends  therefore  for  its  very  existence  on  mind,  instead,  as 
the  heathens  supposed,  being  the  necessary  substratum  for 
mind  to  work  on.  But  now  let  us  revert  to  the  instance 
of  the  bell ;  we  find  that  the  visible  image  impresses  itself 
necessarily  on  our  eyes  if  we  open  them — the  tangible  on 
our  fingers  if  we  stretch  them  out  in  a  given  direction, 
namely,  to  the  place  where  the  bell  is.  These  sensations 
are  wholly  independent  of  our  own  will,  quite  different 
from  the  recollections  which  we  can  bring  up  in  our  minds, 
or  from  any  other  original  act  of  our  own  :  they  are  some- 
thing therefore  different  from  ourselves.  The  act  of  seeing, 
&c,  therefore  gives  us  both  the  sensation  and  also  a  know- 
ledge of  the  existence  of  a  cause  of  it,  independent  of  our 
own  minds.  Here  it  is  that  Berkeley  has  been  so  much 
misunderstood  and  misrepresented.  He  has  never  ques- 
tioned the  existence  of  a  cause  of  our  sensations  indepen- 


BERKELEY.  271 

dent  of  ourselves ;  but  lie  has  said  the  existence  of  what  is 
called  matter  is  the  existence  of  sensations,  and  the  exist- 
ence of  sensations  implies  the  existence  of  a  sentient 
being,  and  that  some  such  being  must  exist,  or  what  has 
been  called  matter  cannot  exist.  He  infers  the  existence 
of  other  minds  by  shewing  that  many  sensations  occur 
which  we  are  conscious  we  did  not  originate,  and  cannot 
terminate ;  some  of  these  are  such  as  we  would  by  due 
instruction  originate,  and  we  infer,  therefore,  that  they 
have  been  originated  by  beings  like  ourselves.  Thus  if 
we  see  a  watch  made  by  the  watchmaker,  or  to  use  our 
former  instance,  a  bell,  and  find  we  could  by  being  taught 
make  a  watch  or  a  bell  ourselves,  we  infer  the  existence 
of  a  mind  similar  to  our  own,  which  has  originated  the 
peculiar  combination  of  sensations  before  us,  and  which 
we  call  by  the  names  of  watch  and  bell ;  but  if  we  ana- 
lyze the  component  sensations  into  a  simpler  form,  and 
consider  the  sensations  produced  by  the  brass  and  steel, 
and  the  sensations  of  their  weight,  hardness,  and  the  like, 
which  we  cannot  originate,  or  conceive  a  being  like  our- 
selves to  have  originated,  we  are  led  to  infer  the  existence 
of  a  creative  Being,  who  originates  that  particular  class  of 
sensations,  and  in  whose  mind  they  may  exist  even  if  all 
created  minds  were  destroyed.  This  Being,  and  not  a 
mysterious  undefined  substratum,  then,  is,  accordino-  to 
Berkeley,  the  cause  of  all  the  varied  combinations  of  sen- 
sations to  which  we  give  names ;  and  He,  i.  e.  God,  has 
willed  that  such  sensations  should  come  in  associated 
groups :  e.  g.  that  the  bright  sensation  we  call  light  should 
usually  te  attended  with  the  burning  sensation  of  heat ; 
it  is  not  always  so,  for  the  glow  worm,  and  fire  fly,  do  not 
burn,  though  a  child  would  probably  expect  them  to  do 
so.  God  might  doubtless,  if  he  pleased,  at  once  cause 
water  to  burn,  and  fire  to  occasion  the  sensation  of  cold. 
Every  thing  called  matter  (as  we  perceive  it)  is,  in  other 
words,  a  group  of  sensations,  ordered  according  to  a  given 
law,  which  law  we  did  not  originate,  and  cannot  vary.  It 
is  independent  of,  rather  than  external  to,  the  mind  ;  for  it 


3751  BERKELEY. 

is  gross  materialism  to  speak  literally  of  the  inside  or  out- 
side of  the  mind,  for  mind  is  not  extended,  and  has  no 
parts,  like  a  cup  or  vessel :  so  that  in  talking  of  things 
being  external  to  the  mind,  all  philosophers  (except  mate- 
rialists) must  be  assumed  to  speak  metaphorically. 

We  shall  now  perceive  how  much  Berkeley  has  been 
misrepresented  by  those  who  have  pretended  to  refute 
him ;  aud  as  Reid  is  supposed  by  many  to  have  succeeded 
in  such  refutation,  it  will  be  sufficient  to  expose  briefly 
his  mis-statement  of  the  case.  In  one  passage  of  his  Essay 
Reid  states,  correctly  enough,  that  "Berkeley  acknow- 
ledges that  material  things  have  a  real  existence  out  of 
the  mind  of  this  or  that  person,  but  that  the  question 
between  him  and  the  materialist  is,  whether  they  have  an 
absolute  existence  distinct  from  their  being  perceived  by 
God  ?"  This  is  fairly  stated,  yet  the  same  opponent  after- 
wards states  the  question  thus,  "  How  are  we  astonished 
when  the  philosopher  informs  us  that  the  sun  and  moon 
which  we  see  are  not,  as  we  imagine,  many  miles  distant 
from  us  and  from  each  other,  but  that  they  are  in  our 
owd  mind ;  that  they  had  no  existence  before  we  saw 
them,  and  will  have  none  when  we  cease  to  perceive  and 
to  think  of  them,  because  the  objects  we  perceive  are  only 
ideas  in  our  own  minds,  which  can  have  no  existence  a 
moment  longer  than  we  think  of  them  "  He  then  pro- 
ceeds to  refute  this  last  absurd  supposition,  which  it  is 
needless  to  say  is  merely  fighting  with  a  shadow  of  his 
own  creation.  The  first  extract  alone  contains  Berkeley's 
view,  and  the  result  of  his  whole  system  is  this, — That 
God,  by  an  act  of  His  will,  causes  our  minds  to  have 
certain  sensations  in  uniform  order,  and  uniformly  asso- 
ciated. How  and  in  what  form  the  Divine  mind  may  be 
conscious  itself  of  sensations  he,  of  course,  presumes  not 
to  say ;  but  to  all  men's  minds  these  sensations  occur 
alike,  whether  men  desire  them  or  not,  independently 
therefore  of  any  one  man's  mind,  or  of  his  thinking  of 
them. 

Some    very    remarkable    consequences    are   deducible 


BERKELEY.  273 

from  Berkeley's  views.  His  main  object,  indeed,  was  to 
vindicate  God's  existence  thereby,  and  he  has  beauti- 
fully expanded  this  branch  of  the  subject  in  his  Minute 
Philosopher.  As  one  illustration  we  may  mention  his 
conclusive  argument  against  any  difficulty  arising  from 
God  Himself  not  being  the  object  of  our  senses — for  nei- 
ther are  men  such.  Man  makes  himself  known  to  us 
indeed  by  voice,  gesture,  &c,  through  the  medium  there- 
fore of  our  senses  ;  but  who  could  say  that  any  one  of  our 
senses  really  perceives  the  sentient  being  constituting  the 
man.  That  invisible  being  does  acts  independent  of  and 
similar  to  our  own,  and  is  therefore  a  real  active  being 
like  ourselves,  but  this  is  an  inference  only,  though  a  sure 
one.  The  same  remark  applies  to  God,  His  acts  are  per- 
ceivable every  where  by  such  sensations  as  neither  we  nor 
any  one  else  like  ourselves  can  originate,  therefore,  the 
acts  are  originated  by  a  Being  above  us,  and  all  other 
beings  like  us. 

It  was  noticed  by  Arthur  Collier,  who,  in  1713,  published 
a  work  called  Clavis  Universalis,  and  adopted  the  views  of 
Berkeley,  though  it  is  not  clear  that  he  had  seen  his 
work,  that  the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation  is  effectually 
disposed  of  by  this  theory;  for  if  the  notion  of  a  sub- 
stratum be  removed,  then,  where  all  the  sensations  are  the 
same,  the  thing  or  object  must  be  the  same. 

The  resolving  also  of  cause  and  effect  into  a  constant 
sequence  of  certain  sensations  in  given  order,  which  was 
afterwards  dilated  upon  by  Brown,  is  clearly  stated  by 
Berkeley,  whom  Brown  in  the  notes  to  his  work  abuses, 
without  acknowledging  his  obligations  to  him. 

The  view  of  Berkeley  differed  from  that  of  Malebranche 
materially,  for  the  latter  conceived  that  we  saw  all  things 
by  our  own  mind's  being  united  with  the  Deity,  which 
doctrine  followed  up  would  seem  to  lead  to  Pantheism, 
and  to  destroy  man's  independent  existence. 

But,  from  the  speculation  of  Berkeley,  we  must  now 
pass  on  to  the  consideration  of  the  facts  connected  with 
his  life.     He  took  his  doctor's  degree  in  17^1,  and  the 


274  BERKELEY. 

year  following  he  was  made  by  Mrs  Vanhomrich,  Swift's 
Vanessa,  one  of  her  executors,  by  which  circumstance  he 
obtained  a  legacy  of  £4000.  In  1724  he  was  advanced  to 
the  deanery  of  Deny. 

He  might  now,  with  the  majority  of  his  contemporaries, 
have  sought  only  his  own  ease  and  comfort.  But  his  mind 
had  been  employed  on  the  truly  Christian  project  of 
converting  "  the  savage  Americans  to  Christianity  by  a 
college  to  be  erected  on  the  Summer  Islands,  otherwise 
called  the  Isles  of  Bermuda."  It  is  easy  to  devise  plans 
of  benevolence,  to  support  their  cause  by  eloquent  speeches 
and  the  plaudits  of  admiring  friends,  and  by  an  annual 
subscription  of  which  the  loss  is  scarcely  felt.  But  dean 
Berkeley  was  in  earnest  in  the  scheme  that  he  proposed, 
and  immediately  offered  to  resign  his  comfortable  deanery, 
the  delights  of  literary  society,  and  his  large  income,  that 
he  might  dedicate  the  remainder  of  his  life  to  the  instruc- 
tion of  youth  in  America,  reserving  to  himself  only  £100 
a-year.  To  the  honour  of  the  age  it  must  be  mentioned,  that 
three  fellows  of  Trinity  college,  Dublin,  were  found  ready 
to  follow  his  example,  and  to  give  up  their  fellowships, 
and  all  those  high  prospects  at  home,  to  which  a  Dublin 
fellowship  was  at  that  time  supposed  to  lead.  They  went 
with  him,  having  a  salary  of  £40  a-year.  The  plan  being 
sanctioned  by  George  the  First  and  his  ministers,  a  grant 
of  £20,000  was  made  for  the  establishment  of  the  college, 
and,  in  1728,  our  noble-minded  missionary  sailed  for 
America.  In  America  he  remained  for  two  years  and  a 
half  at  Newport,  in  Rhode  Island,  winning  the  love  and 
respect  of  all  who  approached  him.  He  rallied  around 
him  the  few  Catholic  clergy  who  were  then  in  America, 
who  held  a  kind  of  quarterly  synod  at  his  house,  and  he 
was  busily  employed  in  preaching  the  gospel,  and  in 
administering  the  sacraments  in  various  destitute  places, 
while  to  the  church  at  Newport  he  presented  an  organ 
for  the  more  decent  celebration  of  the  divine  offices.  But 
notwithstanding  his  exertions,  every  attempt  to  realize  the 
object  which  took  him  across  the  Atlantic  failed.     The 


BERKELEY.  275 

money  which  had  been  voted  to  him  had  been  appropriated 
by  government  in  another  way ;  and  when  bishop  Gibson 
applied  to  sir  Robert  Walpole  upon  the  subject,  the  reply 
of  the  minister  was,  "  If  you  put  this  question  to  me  as 
minister,  I  must  and  can  assure  you  that  the  money  shall 
most  undoubtedly  be  paid  as  soon  as  suits  the  public 
convenience  ;  but  if  you  ask  me  as  a  friend  whether  dean 
Berkeley  should  continue  in  America,  expecting  the  pay- 
ment of  £20,000,  I  advise  him  by  all  means  to  return 
home  to  Europe,  and  to  give  up  his  present  expectations.'- 
Mortifying  as  this  circumstance  was,  Dr  Berkeley  had 
nothing  else  to  do  than  to  follow  the  advice  of  bishop 
Gibson,  his  diocesan,  and  to  submit.  With  his  usual 
generosity,  he  gave  his  house  and  a  hundred  acres  of 
cultivated  land  around  it  to  Yale  and  Haward  colleges, 
and  he  gave  books  to  the  value  of  £500  to  those  in- 
stitutions and  the  clergy  of  Rhode  Island ;  and  quitted 
America  in  September,  1731. 

On  his  return  home  he  published  that  masterly  per- 
formance, the  Minute  Philosopher,  in  which  he  pursues 
the  free-thinker  through  the  various  characters  of  atheist, 
libertine,  enthusiast,  scorner,  critic,  metaphysician,  fatalist, 
sceptic;  and  employs  against  him,  with  peculiar  dexterity, 
several  new  weapons  drawn  from  the  storehouse  of  his  own 
ingenious  system  of  philosophy.  It  is  written  in  a  series 
of  dialogues  on  the  model  of  Plato,  and  it  seemed  to  the 
late  bishop  Jebb  to  be  so  well  adapted  to  the  present  age, 
that  this  admirable  prelate  designed  a  re-publication  of  it 
with  notes  of  his  own,  had  he  not  been  summoned  to  his 
rest  before  he  could  accomplish  this  and  other  useful 
works,  which  he  contemplated  for  the  benefit  of  the 
Church. 

Dr  Berkeley  was  at  this  time  a  frequent  guest  at  those 
hebdomadal  parties  which  Caroline,  the  queen  of  George  II, 
was  accustomed  to  give  to  persons  of  established  intellec- 
tual celebrity.  Here  he  had  the  honour  of  being  supported 
by  Sherlock,  and  perhaps  the  greater  honour  of  being 
opposed  by  Hoadly  and  Clarke. 


276  BERKELEY. 

In  May,  1733,  he  was  consecrated  bishop  of  Cloyne. 
In  1745  he  had  the  offer  of  the  more  valuable  bishopric  of 
Clogher,  but  refused  to  leave  his  diocese,  where  he  con- 
stantly resided,  and  to  the  duties  of  which  he  paid 
unremitting  attention.  In  like  manner  when  he  might 
have  obtained  the  primacy  he  declined  it,  saying,  "  I 
desire  to  add  one  more  to  the  list  of  churchmen  who  are 
dead  to  avarice  and  ambition." 

Soon  after  his  consecration  he  published  the  Analyst, 
in  which  he  argues  that  mathematical  knowledge  makes 
far  larger  demands  than  Christianity,  upon  the  implicit 
acquiescence  of  mankind. 

Towards  the  close  of  life  his  health  failed  him,  and 
finding  relief  from  tar  water,  he  published  his  Siris ;  a 
wonderful  instance  of  the  fertility  of  his  genius,  and  at 
the  same  time  of  the  weakness  of  the  strongest  minds.  It 
was  written  to  establish  the  virtues  of  tar  water  as  a 
medicine,  and  the  effects  ascribed  to  it  are  such  as  quack 
advertisers  of  all  times  attribute  to  their  medicines. 
They,  however,  wilfully  deceive  ;  Berkeley  was  induced  to 
generalize  hastily  on  a  subject  on  which  he  had  but  very 
partial  knowledge,  by  a  wish  to  impart  to  others  the  bene- 
fits he  conceived  he  had  derived  from  the  medicine.  But 
his  fruitful  mind  could  not  be  stirred  on  any  subject  in 
vain  ;  the  weeds  indicated  the  fertility  of  the  soil,  and  the 
Essay  on  Tar  Water  concludes  with  some  of  the  most  soul 
ennobling  disquisitions  on  high  and  abstruse  points  of 
philosophy  and  divinity.  It  is  divided  into  ten  sections, 
the  first  of  which  is  "  Tar  Water  how  made."  The  fourth  to 
the  seventh  represent  it  as  "A  cure  for  foulness  of  blood, 
ulceration  of  bowels,  lungs,  consumptive  coughs,  pleurisy, 
peripneumony,  erysipelas,  asthma,  indigestion,  cachectic 
and  hysteric  cases,  gravel,  dropsy,  and  all  inflammations." 
And  the  last  sections  are  "  The  Study  of  Plato  recom- 
mended, who  agrees  with  Scripture  in  many  particulars. 
His  opinion  of  the  Deity,  and  particularly  of  a  Trinity, 
agreeable  to  Revelation." 


BERNARD,  277 

He  now  longed  to  retire  from  public  life,  and  while 
preparing  for  the  great  change  awaiting  him,  to  give  him- 
self up  to  meditation.  He  wished  to  make  Oxford  his 
residence,  that  he  might  at  the  same  time  superintend 
the  education  of  his  son.  He  asked,  therefore,  to  exchange 
his  bishopric  for  a  canomy  of  Christ-church.  It  is  a  sad 
infliction  upon  the  English  church  that  no  provision  is 
made  for  the  retirement  of  bishops  when  they  become  too 
infirm  for  their  work.  Bishop  Berkeley  was  not  allowed 
to  resign;  but  having  obtained  permission  to  reside  where 
he  pleased,  he  made  a  series  of  liberal  arrangements  at 
Cloyne,  and  then  went  to  die  at  Oxford.  He  settled 
there  in  July,  1752,  and  died  in  January,  1753.  He  was 
placidly  listening  while  his  wife  was  reading  the  burial 
service,  when  he  fell  asleep  in  Jesus.  So  peaceful  was 
the  passage  of  his  soul  to  the  Church  triumphant,  that  his 
death  was  not  discovered  by  those  around  him,  until  he 
had  become  stiff  and  cold.  Of  him  bishop  Atterbury 
said,  "  So  much  understanding,  knowledge,  innocence, 
and  humility,  I  should  have  thought  confined  to  angels, 
had  I  never  seen  this  gentleman." 

The  facts  are  taken  chiefly  from  the  life  of  Berkeley 
prefixed  to  his  works,  and  from  the  works  themselves. 

Bernard,  of  Clairvaux,  commonly  called  St  Bernard, 
has  been  styled  the  last  of  the  fathers,  because  he  stands, 
as  it  were,  on  the  confines  of  the  system  of  the  early 
Church,  which  contemplated  God  as  He  is  in  Himself, 
and  that  of  the  later  ages,  in  which  the  mysterious  deal- 
ings of  God  with  the  soul  of  the  individual  Christian 
were  minutely  analyzed.  He  wrote  from  Scripture  and  the 
fathers,  and  came  not  into  that  form  of  theology  called 
scholastic,  which,  commencing  in  his  time,  became  after- 
wards generally  prevalent.  He  was  born  of  a  noble 
family,  at  Fontaines,  near  Dijon,  in  Burgundy,  in  the 
year  1091.  His  early  education  devolved  on  his  pious 
mother,  Aletta,  his  father,  Tecelin,  being  too  much  en- 
gaged in  deeds  of  arms  to  attend  to  the  claims  of  his 

VOL.  II.  2  A 


BERNARD. 

family.  Dedicated  by  his  mother  to  the  service  of  the 
Church,  from  the  time  of  his  birth,  he  received  the  educa- 
tion necessary  for  holy  orders  at  Chatillon ;  but  he  lost 
the  mother  who  had  hitherto  watched  and  prayed  for 
him  when  he  arrived  at  the  age  of  fifteen.  We  have  an 
account  of  Aletta*s  death  from  a  contemporary  author,  and 
as  characteristic  of  the  times  it  is  here  presented  to  the 
reader : — 

•■  Aletta  was  accustomed  to  celebrate  the  festival  of 
St  Ambrose,  the  patron  of  the  church  of  Fontaines,  by 
an  annual  feast,  to  which  the  neighbouring  clergy  were 
invited.  On  the  vigil  of  that  day,  she  was  seized  with  a 
violent  fever  which  confined  her  to  her  bed."  (It  appears 
that  she  had  had  a  presentiment  of  her  approaching  death, 
which  she  had  communicated  to  her  husband  and  family.  | 
"  The  next  morning,  she  requested  that  the  Holy  Com- 
munion might  be  administered  to  her,  and  feeling  strength- 
ened after  its  reception,  she  desired  that  the  clergy  would 
sit  down  to  the  feast  she  had  provided.  While  they  were 
at  table,  she  sent  for  her  eldest  son  Guido,  and  desired 
that  he  would  request  the  company  to  repair  to  her  cham- 
ber, when  the  repast  was  ended.  When  they  were  assem- 
bled, and  standing  round  her  bed,  Aletta  calmly  announced 
that  the  moment  of  her  departure  was  at  hand,  and  en- 
treated their  prayers.  The  ministers  of  the  Lord  began 
to  read  the  litany,  Aletta  herself  making  the  responses, 
as  long  as  her  breath  lasted  :  but  when  the  choir  reached 
that  veisicle,  "  By  thy  cross  and  passion,  good  Lord  deli- 
ver us,"'  the  dying  woman,  commending  her  soul  to  God, 
raised  her  hand  to  make  the  sign  of  the  cross,  and  in  that 
attitude  she  expired ;  giving  up  her  spirit  to  the  angels, 
by  whom  it  was  carried  to  the  abode  of  the  just.  There 
it  awaits  in  peace  the  re-union  with  the  body  at  the  great 
day  of  the  resurrection,  when  our  Lord  and  Advocate, 
-  Christ,  shall  come  to  judge  the  quick  and  the  dead."' 
Joan.  Erem.  p.  1300. 

>r  says  of  Aletta.  "  She  was  often  to  be  seen 
alone  and  on  foot,  on  the  road  between  Fontaines  and 


BERNARD.  ul9 

Dijon,  visiting  the  cottages  of  the  poor,  and  carrying  pro- 
visions and  remedies  to  the  sick  and  afflicted,  and  adminis- 
tering instruction  and  spiritual  consolation  to  them.  She 
never  allowed  her  domestics  to  assist  her  in  these  offices, 
so  that  it  might  truly  be  said,  that  her  left  hand  knew 
not  what  her  right  hand  performed.  Aletta  was  buried  at 
Dijon,  where  her  remains  reposed  for  140  years,  at  the 
end  of  which  time  they  were  removed  to  Clairvaux." 

In  vain  did  the  young  nobles  of  his  own  age  endeavour 
to  dissuade  Bernard  from  embracing  a  monastic  life :  he 
found  little  attraction  in  worldly  pleasure,  or  in  chivalrous 
exercises  ;  and  though  in  the  study  of  literature  he  might 
have  found  a  more  congenial  pursuit,  after  a  little  waver- 
ing, he  determined  to  fulfil  the  wishes  of  that  beloved 
mother,  to  whose  early  instructions  he  was  so  deeply 
indebted.  With  reference  to  this  determination,  Bernard 
said  in  after  years  to  his  monks  : 

"  I  am  not  ashamed  to  confess,  that  often,  and  par- 
ticularly at  the  beginning  of  my  conversion,  I  expe- 
rienced great  hardness  of  heart,  and  an  extreme  coldness. 
I  sought  after  Him,  whom  my  soul  would  fain  love. 
Him,  in  whom  my  frozen  spirit  might  repose  and 
re-arjimate  itself.  But  none  came  to  succour  me,  and 
dissolve  this  strong  ice  which  bound  up  all  the  spiritual 
senses,  and  to  revive  the  sweetness  and  serenity  of  the 
spiritual  spring,  and  thus  my  soul  continued  feeble  and 
listless,  a  prey  to  grief,  almost  to  despair,  and  murmuring 
internally.  Who  is  able  to  abide  His  frost?  Then  on  a 
sudden,  and  perhaps  at  the  first  word,  or  at  the  first  sight 
of  a  spiritually- minded  person,  sometimes  at  the  bare 
recollection  of  one  dead  or  absent,  the  Holy  Spirit  would 
begin  to  breathe,  and  the  waters  to  flow ;  then  would  tears 
be  my  meat  day  and  night." 

Xot  only  did  Bernard  determine  to  embrace  the  mon- 
astic life  himself,  but  he  was  eloquent  in  persuading 
others  to  do  the  same.  We  subjoin  one  of  Bernard's 
letters,  as  a  specimen  of  the  mode  of  argument  he  used 
with  his  friends : 


280  BERNARD. 

"  The  zeal  which  animates  me  is  not  of  carnal  growth, 
it  springs  from  the  desire  of  co-operating  with  you  in 
working  out  our  salvation.  Nobility,  strength,  beauty,  the 
pleasures  of  youth,  the  riches  of  the  earth,  palaces,  places 
of  dignity,  the  wisdom  of  this  world,  all  these  are  to  be 
found  in  the  world.  But  how  long  will  they  last  ?  They 
will  vanish  with  the  world, — before  the  world, — for  in  the 
twinkling  of  an  eye  you  will,  yourself,  have  left  the  world. 
Life  is  short,  the  world  passeth  away,  and  you  will  pass 
awav  before  it.  Why  not  then  cease  from  loving  that 
which  will  soon  cease  to  be  ?  Oh  my  brother,  come  with- 
out delay,  and  unite  yourself  to  a  man  who  loves  you  with 
a  sincere  and  lasting  affection.  Even  death  will  not 
separate  two  hearts  that  religion  has  joined.  The  hap- 
piness which  I  desire  for  you,  has  respect  neither  to  time 
nor  to  the  body,  and  will  subsist  independent  of  either. 
And  not  only  so ;  it  will  increase  when  the  body  is  de- 
stroyed, and  when  '  there  shall  be  no  more  time.'  And 
what  comparison  is  there  between  this  happiness  and  that 
offered  by  the  world  ?  The  supreme  good  is  that,  of  which 
nothing  can  deprive  you.  And  what  is  that  ?  Eye  hath 
not  seen,  nor  ear  heard  it ;  neither  hath  it  entered  into 
the  heart  of  man  to  conceive  it,  for  flesh  and  blood  are 
incapable  of  it,  it  must  be  revealed  to  us  by  the  Spirit  of 
God.  Blessed  are  they  who  have  understood  this  word, 
'  Ye  are  my  friends,  what  I  have  heard  of  my  Father  that 
have  I  shown  you.'  "  Ep.  107. 

On  another  occasion,  in  writing  to  a  young  man,  who 
was  wavering  in  his  resolution,  he  says,  "  Why  should  you 
be  surprised  to  find  yourself  still  fluctuating  between  good 
and  evil,  before  you  have  yet  placed  your  feet  on  the  solid 
ground?  Oh  that  you  could  apprehend  my  meaning! 
Only  Thou,  my  God,  must  discover  to  the  eye  of  man,  the 
things  which  Thou  hast  prepared  for  them  that  love  Thee. 
'Come  unto  me,'  saith  the  Saviour,  'all  ye  that  labour 
and  are  heavy  laden,  and  I  will  refresh  you.'  Do  you  fear 
then  to  want  strength,  when  it  is  the  Truth  that  has  pro- 


BERNARD.  281 

inised  to  support  you?    May  God  grant  you  the  knowledge 
of  His  law,  and  of  His  will."  Ep.  -206. 

His  humility  prevented  him  from  forming  a  new- 
religious  order,  like  other  men  of  eminent  piety,  his 
contemporaries;  and  his  enthusiasm  and  the  reality  of  his 
religious  impressions  induced  him  to  seek  the  most  poorly 
endowed  abbey  with  which  he  was  acquainted.  This  was 
the  convent  of  Citeaux,  (Cistercians)  situated  in  a  barren 
wilderness  iu  the  diocese  of  Chalons-sur-Saone,  and  founded 
in  the  year  1098  by  Robert,  a  nobleman  of  Champagne. 
Over  this  convent,  in  which  the  Benedictine  rule  was 
observed  with  more  than  its  primitive  severity,  Stephen 
Harding,  an  Englishman,  presided.  To  this  monastery, 
at  the  age  of  twenty-three,  Bernard  retired  with  more  than 
thirty  associates,  including  among  the  number  four  of  his 
brothers.  With  a  delicate  constitution,  he  quitted  the 
luxuries  of  aristocratic  life,  and  entered  the  strictest  order 
of  the  day,  to  become  a  poor  man,  a  rustic ;  for  manual 
labour  in  the  fields  sometimes,  and  sometimes  in  the 
kitchen,  and  in  sweeping  the  dormitory,  formed  part  of 
the  rule.  He  was  never  willing  to  give  up  this  portion  of 
the  discipline,  though  his  delicate  frame  could  ill  bear  the 
fatigue.  He  is  said  to  have  become  an  expert  reaper. 
But  bodily  labour  was  not  suffered  to  preclude  mental 
exertion,  and  it  was  in  the  cloister  of  Citeaux  that  Bernard 
acquired  his  wonderful  knowledge  of  the  Scriptures, 
meditating  upon  them  before  the  morning  light.  Even 
during  his  labours  in  the  field  he  could  bring  his  mind  to 
sacred  meditation,  and  his  feelings  were  alive  to  the  in- 
spiring beauties  of  inanimate  nature  :  at  a  later  period  of 
his  life  we  find  him  saying,  "take  the  testimony  of  my  own 
experience,  and,  believe  me,  thou  wilt  find  more  in  woods 
than  in  books  ;  and  trees  and  stones  will  teach  thee  more 
than  thou  canst  learn  from  man."  The  subject  of  his 
continual  meditations  was  the  sufferings  of  our  blessed 
Lord  and  Saviour.  It  was  from  meditating  on  hi- 
viouris  cross  that  he  was  so  eager  to  take  up  his  own.    He 


282  BERNARD. 

was  wont  to  compare  this  exercise,  says  Neander,  to  the 
nosegay  of  myrrh,  that  the  spouse  in  the  Canticles  had 
gathered  with  pious  care  to  plant  in  her  bosom.  In  one 
of  the  sermons  on  the  Canticles  he  thus  expresses  himself 
on  the  subject: — "  From  the  very  beginning  of  my  con- 
version, my  brethren,  feeling  my  own  great  deficiency  in 
virtue,  I  appropriated  to  myself  this  nosegay  of  myrrh, 
composed  of  all  the  sufferings  and  the  pains  of  my  Saviour; 
of  the  privations  to  which  He  submitted  in  His  childhood ; 
the  labours  that  He  endured  in  His  preaching;  the  fatigue 
that  He  underwent  in  His  journeyings  ;  of  His  watchings 
in  prayer,  His  temptations  in  fasting,  His  tears  of  compas- 
sion; of  the  snares  that  were  laid  for  Him  in  His  words  ; 
of  His  perils  among  false  brethren  ;  of  the  outrages,  the 
spitting,  the  smiting,  the  mockery,  the  insults,  the  nails ; 
in  a  word,  of  all  the  grief  of  all  kinds  that  He  submitted  to 
for  the  salvation  of  man.  I  have  discovered  that  wisdom 
consists  in  meditating  on  these  things,  and  that  in  them 
alone  is  the  perfection  of  justice,  the  plenitude  of  know- 
ledge, the  riches  of  salvation,  and  the  abundance  of  merit ; 
and  in  these  contemplations  I  find  relief  from  sadness, 
moderation  in  success,  and  safety  in  the  royal  highway  of 
this  life  ;  so  that  I  march  on  between  the  good  and  evil, 
scattering  on  either  side  the  perils  by  which  I  am  menaced. 
This  is  the  reason  why  I  always  have  these  things  in  my 
mouth,  as  you  know,  and  always  in  my  heart,  as  God 
knows  ;  they  are  habitually  recurring  in  my  writings,  as 
every  one  may  see ;  and  my  most  sublime  philosophy  is  to 
know  Jesus  Christ,  and  Him  crucified/'  Serm.  43,  in 
Cant.  C antic. 

The  reputation  of  Bernard  drew  many  votaries  to  Ci- 
teaux,  where,  till  his  appearance  among  them,  the  society 
had  long  lived  in  apprehension  of  gradual  extinction;  for 
persons  naturally  dreaded  an  asceticism  which,  however 
admirable  according  to  the  notions  of  the  age,  they  con- 
sidered to  be  above  the  ordinary  strength  of  man.  But  the 
influence  and  the  example  of  Bernard  changed  the  whole 


BERNARD.  033 

aspect  of  affairs,  and  devotees  from  all  quarters  nocked  to 
the  convent.  In  1115,  Bernard  was  sent  by  the  abbot 
with  twelve  associates  to  found  a  uew  establishment  on 
the  Cistercian  system.  The  site  had  been  granted  to  the 
abbot  Stephen  Harding,  by  Hugo,  a  knight  of  Champagne, 
who  had  been  previously  urged  by  devotional  feeling  to 
undertake  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  and  who 
subsequently  joined  the  knights  templars.  It  was  a  wild 
and  desolate  spot,  in  the  bishopric  of  Langres.  The  place 
was  called,  for  some  unknown  reason,  the  Valley  of  Worm- 
wood, (Vallis  Absinthialis)  and  had  been  the  haunt  of 
robbers ;  but  since  the  extirpation  of  this  plant  it  had 
been  called  the  clear  or  bright  valley,  (Clara-vallis)  or 
Clair- vaux.  To  found  a  monastery  here  Bernard  was  sent 
from  Citeaux.  The  ceremonial  observed  was  simple  and 
affecting.  After  a  solemn  service,  the  newly-elected  abbot 
received  from  the  hands  of  the  president  of  the  monastery 
a  cross  ;  he  then  rose,  and  quitted  the  church,  followed 
by  his  twelve  associates,  and,  having  taken  leave  of  the 
brethren,  the  community  departed  chanting  an  appropriate 
psalm.  "When,"  says  the  Cistercian  Chronicle,  "Bernard 
and  his  twelve  monks  silently  took  their  departure  from 
the  church,  you  might  have  seen  tears  in  the  eyes  of  all  pre- 
sent, while  nothing  was  to  be  heard  but  the  voices  of  those 
who  were  singing  the  hymns ;  and  even  those  brethren 
could  not  repress  their  sobs,  in  spite  of  that  sense  of  reli- 
gion which  led  them  to  make  the  strongest  efforts  to  com- 
mand their  feelings.  Those  who  remained,  and  those 
who  departed,  were  all  involved  in  one  common  sorrow, 
till  the  procession  reached  that  gate  which  was  to  open  for 
some,  and  to  close  upon  the  rest."  Ann.  Cist.  1.  n.  6,  7, 
p.  79. 

Clairvaux  and  Morimont,  founded  in  1115,  with  the 
abbeys  of  La  Ferto  and  Pontigny,  established  the  one  in 
the  year  1113,  the  other  in  1114,  were  called  Les  quatres 
filles  de  Citeaux. 

The  work  in  which  they  were  engaged  was  no  easy  task, 
and  no  very  agreeable  duty  :  the  privations  to  which  the 


284  BERNARD. 

poor  monks  were  obliged  for  many  months  to  submit  are 
almost  unheard  of.  Incessantly  occupied  in  the  erection 
of  their  monastic  buildings,  they  had  no  opportunity  of 
gaining  their  bread  by  their  labours ;  and,  as  they  had 
taken  possession  of  the  marshy  desert  that  had  been  given 
up  to  them  too  late  for  sowing  the  ground,  the  earth  of 
course  yielded  them  no  fruits :  and  the  neighbouring  pro- 
prietors, who  had  at  first  testified  great  admiration  at  the 
conduct  of  the  devotees,  and  vied  with  each  other  in  ad- 
ministering to  their  wants,  became  equally  familiar  with 
their  sanctity  and  their  necessities,  and  ceased  to  regard 
either.  A  coarse  bread  made  of  barley  and  millet,  and 
beech  leaves  cooked  in  salt  and  water,  formed  their  only 
nourishment ;  and  this,  too,  at  the  beginning  of  the  winter 
season.  At  last  their  supply  of  salt  was  exhausted,  and 
the  hearts  of  some  of  the  fraternity  began  to  fail  them  ; 
but  Bernard,  calling  to  him  one  of  the  brethren,  desired 
him  to  take  the  ass  and  buy  salt  at  the  market.  The  man 
prepared  to  do  the  bidding  of  his  superior,  but  before  he 
set  out  he  asked  for  money  to  pay  for  the  commodity. 
"  Take  faith,"  replied  Bernard,  "for  as  to  money  I  know 
not  when  we  shall  have  any ;  but  He  who  holds  my  purse 
in  His  hands,  and  who  is  the  depository  of  my  treasure,  is 
above."  The  monk  smiled,  and  rejoined,  "  It  seemeth  to 
me,  my  father,  that  if  I  go  empty  handed,  I  shall  return 
empty  handed."  "  Nevertheless,  go,"  replied  the  abbot ; 
"  and  go  in  faith.  I  tell  thee  that  our  Great  Treasurer 
will  be  with  thee,  and  will  supply  all  thy  necessities." 
On  this  the  poor  friar,  after  receiving  the  benediction  of 
his  superior,  set  out  with  the  ass  on  his  journey.  On  his 
way  "the  God  of  all  consolation  was  pleased  to  assist  him, 
says  the  chronicler ;  for,  meeting  a  priest  who  accosted 
him,  and  inquired  his  business,  Guibert  (for  that  was  the 
name  of  the  messenger)  told  his  errand,  and  made  known 
the  penury  of  his  convent ;  and  the  priest,  touched  with 
compassion,  took  him  to  his  own  home,  and  supplied  him 
abundantly  with  all  sorts  of  provisions.  On  Guibert's 
return  with  his  replenished  panniers,  Bernard  said  to  him, 


BERNARD.  285 

"  I  tell  you,  my  son,  nothing  is  more  necessary  to  a  Chris- 
tian than  faith  :  hold  fast  faith,  and  it  will  be  well  with 
thee  all  the  days  of  thy  life."  These  succours,  and  others 
equally  unexpected,  were  however  merely  temporary,  and 
Clairvaux  soon  relapsed  into  a  condition  of  absolute  desti- 
tution. The  monks,  exposed  to  cold  and  hunger  and 
other  privations,  gave  themselves  up  to  despair,  and  openly 
manifested  their  wish  of  returning  to  Citeaux.  Bernard 
himself  was  so  far  overpowered  by  witnessing  the  moral 
and  personal  sufferings  of  his  brethren,  that  his  health  gave 
way,  and  he  became  incapable  of  preaching  to  them,  and 
they  were  thus  deprived  at  once  of  bodily  and  of  spiritual 
sustenance.  This  state  of  things,  which  lasted  sixteen  or 
seventeen  months,  required  all  the  influence  and  exertion 
of  Bernard  to  prevent  the  utter  dissolution  of  the  infant 
establishment,  and  to  turn  this  severe  trial  to  the  advan- 
tage of  his  brethren.  At  the  expiration  of  this  term  many 
rich  offerings  were  made  to  the  convent,  and  the  ground 
first  broken  by  the  labours  of  the  starving  monks,  began 
to  yield  them  her  fruit,  and  to  supply  their  most  urgent 
necessities. 

Of  this  monastery  Bernard  became  the  first  abbot,  and 
by  his  energy,  talent  and  self-denial,  which  seemed  in  the 
eyes  of  his  contemporaries  to  be  miraculous,  he  soon  ren- 
dered the  Cistercian  order  celebrated :  nine  abbeys  in  the 
short  space  of  five  years  sprung  from  Citeaux,  and  a  con- 
stitution was  formed  for  the  rising  order.  Men  of  illus- 
trious descent,  who  had  formerly  played  a  distinguished 
part  on  the  theatre  of  the  world,  now  by  their  hard  labour, 
in  the  sweat  of  their  brow,  and  by  their  ascetic  self-denial, 
followed  the  example  of  Bernard.  The  most  costly  offer- 
ings were  presented  to  the  convent,  and  prepared  for 
Clairvaux  the  great  wealth  that  in  the  course  of  some 
decades  of  years  it  acquired. 

"  The  wealth  of  the  convents,"  as  Neander  remarks,  "  was 
advantageous  to  the  state,  because  the  monks  knew  how  to 
make  the  best  use  of  it.  In  times  of  scarcity  they  often 
supplied  hundreds  of  the  poor  with  food.     On  occasion  of 


286  BERNARD. 

a  great  scarcity  in  Burgundy,  the  starving  peasants  nocked 
in  such  numbers  to  Clairvaux,  that  Bernard,  finding  he 
could  not  hope  to  afford  nourishment  to  all  till  the  next 
harvest,  selected  tivo  thousand,  whom  he  distinguished  by 
a  particular  mark  (accepit  sub  signaculo),  and  engaged  to 
support  entirely,  while  the  rest  received  some  smaller  alms. 
V.  Joh.  Eremit.  vit.  Bernard,  lib.  ii.  N.  6.  ap.  Mabill.  t,  ii. 
The  monks  of  the  Prsemonstratensian  abbey,  founded  by 
Norbert,  undertook,  in  his  absence,  to  supply  five  hundred 
poor  persons  with  food  during  a  scarcity.  V.  vit.  Norbert. 
The  clergy  in  general  promoted  the  exercise  of  benevolence. 
The  highly-esteemed  Hugh,  bishop  of  Grenoble,  finding 
his  resources  inadequate  to  support  the  numbers  who 
resorted  to  him  during  a  famine,  sold  all  his  costly 
church  plate,  to  buy  food  for  them.  Bernard  instructed  his 
friend  the  count  Theobald,  "  eleemosynas  ea  sagacitate 
dispone  re,  ut  semper  fructificantes  redivivis  et  renascen- 
tibus  accessionibus  novas  semper  eleemosynas  parturiunt," 
1.  ii.  auct.  Ernald.  cap.  viii.  N.  52." 

The  extreme  mortifications  of  Bernard  impaired  his 
health  so  much,  that  on  one  occasion  William  of  Cham- 
peaux,  bishop  of  Chalons-sur-Marne,  to  whom  he  applied 
for  abbatical  ordination,  interfered,  and  obtained  from  the 
Cistercian  chapter  the  superintendence  of  his  friend  for 
one  year.  He  caused  a  sort  of  hut  to  be  erected  for  him 
beyond  the  cloisters,  where  he  was  to  remain  for  a  year, 
without  interfering  in  any  way  with  the  affairs  of  the 
monastery:  but  it  does  not  appear  from  the  account  which 
is  given  of  his  retreat  by  his  friend  the  abbot,  William  of 
St.  Thierry,  he  was  much  benefited  by  the  change." 

"It  was,"  says  he,  "about  this  time  (1116)  that  my 
visits  to  Clairvaux  commenced,  and,  coming  to  see  the 
saint  in  company  with  another  abbot,  I  found  him  in 
his  cell,  which  was  similar  to  those  usually  assigned  to 
leprous  persons  on  the  highways.  He  had  been  re- 
lieved from  the  presidence  of  the  convent  by  the  com- 
mands of  the  bishop  and  the  chapter,  and  was  then 
enjoying  a  state  of  perfect  tranquillity,  living  to  God,  and 


BERNARD.  287 

transported  with  joy,  as  though  he  had  already  tasted  the 
delights  of  Paradise.  When  I  entered  this  chamber  of 
royalty,  and  began  to  contemplate  the  lodgings  and  the 
guest,  I  was  penetrated  with  the  most  profound  respect ; 
and,  on  entering  into  conversation  with  this  man,  I  found 
such  vivacity  and  such  a  sweetness  in  his  discourse,  that 
I  conceived  a  strong  desire  to  remain  with  him,  and  to 
share  his  poverty  ;  so  that,  if  I  could  have  chosen  my  lot 
among  all  the  world  has  to  offer,  I  should  have  desired 
none  other  than  that  of  staying  always  with  the  man  of 
God  as  his   servitor. 

"  After  he  had  welcomed  us  with  gracious  kindness,  we 
proceeded  to  ask  what  he  did,  and  how  he  passed  his  life  in 
this  cell.  He  replied  with  that  benevolent  smile  which  is 
habitual  to  him,  '  I  do  well,  very  well  here ;  for  formerly 
reasonable  beings  submitted  themselves  to  my  orders  ; 
now,  by  the  just  judgment  of  God,  I  am  obliged  to  submit 
myself  to  a  man  devoid  of  reason. '  This  he  said  in  refer- 
ence to  a  conceited  quack  who  had  boastfully  engaged  to 
cure  him,  and  to  whose  charge  he  had  been  committed  by 
the  bishop  and  the  community.  We  sat  at  table  with 
him,  expecting  to  find  him  under  the  strictest  regimen  for 
the  re-establishment  of  his  precious  health,  so  essential  to 
all;  but  when  we  saw  him  served,  and  by  the  doctor's 
orders,  with  viands  so  coarse  and  revolting  (lumps  of 
rancid  butter  coustituted  part  of  the  fare),  that  a  hungry 
person  in  good  health  would  scarcely  be  persuaded  to  touch 
them,  we  were  indignant,  and  our  vow  of  silence  alone 
withheld  us  from  treating  this  empiric  as  a  murderer  and 
sacrilegious  person.  For  the  man  of  God,  he  was  indif- 
ferent to  these  things,  having  lost  all  power  of  discrimin- 
ating the  flavour  of  meats,  his  stomach  being  entirely  dis- 
ordered, and  incapable  of  performing  its  functions."  (It 
appears  from  the  details  that  Bernard  had  cempletely  lost 
the  power  of  digesting  any  sort  of  food.) 

"  Such  was  the  state  in  which  I  found  this  servant  of 
Jesus  Christ;  such  was  his  manner  of  life  in  his  solitude ; 


288  BERNARD. 

but  he  was  not  alone, — God  and  His  holy  angels  were 
with  him." 

Of  the  diet  commonly  observed  at  Clairvaux,  we  have 
an  account  in  the  record  of  the  visit  of  pope  Innocent : — 

"  The  bread,  instead  of  being  of  fine  wheaten  flour,  was 
of  bran  mingled  with  flour  ;  instead  of  sweet  wine,  there 
was  the  juice  of  herbs  (sap a,  evidently  the  modem  soup) ; 
and,  in  the  place  of  all  kinds  of  meat,  there  was  nothing 
but  vegetables ;  or  if,  by  chance,  there  happened  to  be  any 
fish,  it  was  placed  before  our  lord  the  pope,  rather  to  be 
looked  at  than  to  be  eaten."    Ernald.  cap.  i.  No.  6,  p.  1109. 

The  following  is  a  copy  of  a  translation  of  the  Benedic- 
tine rule,  given  by  Fosbrooke : — 

"  Abbot  to  represent  Christ — to  call  all  his  monks  to 
council  in  important  affairs,  and  afterwards  adopt  the 
advice  he  thought  best.  Obedience  without  delay  ;  silence  ; 
no  sensuality,  idle  words,  or  such  as  excite  laughter; 
humility;  patience  in  all  injuries ;  manifestation  of  secret 
faults  to  the  abbot ;  contentment  with  the  meanest  things 
and  employments ;  not  to  speak  unasked ;  to  avoid  laugh- 
ter ;  head  and  eyes  inclined  downwards ;  to  rise  to  church 
two  hours  after  midnight;  every  week  the  psalter  to  be 
sung  through ;  to  leave  the  church  altogether,  at  a  sign 
from  the  superior ;  a  dean  over  every  ten  monks  in  large 
houses  ;  light  in  the  dormitory ;  to  sleep  clothed,  with 
their  girdles  on,  the  young  and  old  intermixed.  Upon 
successless  admonition  and  public  reprehension,  excom- 
munication; and,  in  failure  of  this,  personal  chastise- 
ment. For  light  faults,  the  smaller  excommunication, 
or  eating  alone  after  the  others  had  done ;  for  great  faults, 
separation  from  the  table,  prayers,  and  society,  and 
neither  himself  nor  food  to  receive  the  benediction  ;  those 
who  joined  him,  or  spoke  to  him,  to  be  themselves  ex- 
communicated ;  the  abbot  to  send  seniors  to  persuaJe 
him  to  humility,  and  making  satisfaction;  the  whole  con- 
gregation to  pray  for  the  offender,  and,  if  successless, 
to    proceed   to   expulsion.      No    person   expelled    to   be 


BERNARD.  289 

received  after  the  third  expulsion.  Children  to  be 
punished  by  fasting  or  whipping.  Cellarer  to  do  nothing 
without  the  abbofs  order,  and  in  large  houses  to  have 
assistants.  Habits  and  goods  of  the  house  to  be  in  the 
hands  of  proper  officers,  the  abbot  to  have  an  account  of 
them.  No  property;  distribution  according  to  every  one's 
necessities.  The  monks  to  serve  weekly,  and  by  turns,  at 
the  kitchen  and  table.  On  leaving  their  week,  he  that 
leaves  and  he  that  begins  it,  to  wash  the  feet  of  the  others, 
and  on  Saturday  to  clean  all  the  plates,  and  the  linen 
which  wiped  the  others'  feet.  To  resign  the  dishes  clean 
and  whole  to  the  cellarer,  who  delivers  them  to  the  new 
hebdomadary.  Those  officers  to  have  drink  and  food 
above  the  common  allowance,  before  the  others,  that  they 
may  wait  upon  them  cheerfully.  The  hebdomadaries, 
both  entering  and  retiring  from  office,  were,  on  solemn 
days,  to  continue  till  the  masses ;  after  matins  on  the 
Sunday,  to  kneel  and  beg  the  others  to  pray  for  them  ; 
then,  those  going  out,  to  say  a  certain  prayer  three  times, 
and  receive  the  benediction ;  the  one  coming  in  to  do  the 
same,  and,  after  benediction,  to  enter  into  office. 

"  Infirmary — its  offices.  Use  of  the  baths,  and  flesh 
for  the  sick  ordered.  Rule  mitigated  to  children  and  old 
men,  who  had  leave  to  anticipate  the  hours  of  eating. 
Refection  in  silence,  and  reading  Scripture  during  meals. 
"What  was  wanted,  to  be  asked  for  by  a  sign.  Reader  to  be 
appointed  for  the  week.  Two  different  dishes  at  dinner, 
with  fruit.  One  pound  of  bread  a-day,  for  both  dinner 
and  supper.  No  meat  but  to  the  sick.  Three-quarters 
of  a  pint  of  wine  daily.  From  Holyrood  to  Lent,  dine  at 
nones ;  in  Lent  till  Easter,  at  six  o'clock ;  from  Easter  to 
Lentward,  at  sextand  all  summer,  except  on  Wednesdays 
and  Fridays,  then  at  nones.  Collation  or  spiritual  lecture 
every  i  ight  before  complin  (after  supper),  and,  complin 
finished,  silence.  Loss  of  rank,  subtraction  of  wine  or 
their  allowance,  or  sitting  in  the  place  of  disgrace,  for 
tardiness  at  church  or  table.  Prostration  with  the  face  to 
vol.  ii  -2  b 


290  BERNARD 

the  ground,  without  the  church  gate,  when  the  monks 
went  to  pray,  for  the  excommunicated.  Immediate  pardon 
to  be  sought  for.  A  fault  in  the  chant,  faults  in  other 
places,  or  breaking  anything,  to  be  spontaneously  acknow- 
ledged before  the  abbot  and  congregation.  Abbot  to  give 
the  signal  for  goiug  to  church,  and  nobody  to  sing  or  read 
there  without  his  leave.  Work  from  prime  till  near  ten 
o'clock;  from  Easter  till  Cal.  October,  from  ten  till  near 
twelve,  reading.  After  refection,  at  twelve  the  meridian 
or  sleep,  unless  any  one  preferred  reading.  After  nones, 
labour  again  till  the  evening.  From  Cal.  Oct.  to  Lent, 
reading  till  eight  a.  m.  ;  then  trine,  and  after  labour  till 
nones.  After  refection,  reading  or  psalmody.  In  Lent, 
reading  till  trine ;  doing  what  was  ordered  till  ten ;  deli- 
very of  the  books  at  this  season  made.  Senior  to  go 
round  the  house,  and  see  that  the  monks  were  not  idle. 
On  Sunday  all  read,  except  the  officers,  and  the  idle  and 
the  infirm,  who  had  work  given  them.  Particular  abstin- 
ence in  Lent  from  meat,  drink,  and  sleep,  and  especial 
gravity.  Monks  travelling,  to  say  the  canonical  hours 
wherever  they  may  happen  to  be.  Monks  staying  out 
beyond  a  day  not  to  eat  abroad  without  the  abbot's  leave. 
No  other  use  than  that  of  prayer  to  be  made  of  the 
church.  Strangers  to  be  received  with  prayers  by  them 
and  the  monks ;  the  kiss  of  peace,  prostration,  and  wash- 
ing their  feet,  as  of  Christ,  whom  they  represented  ;  then 
to  be  led  to  prayer,  the  Scriptures  read  to  them ;  after 
which  the  prior  might  break  his  fast  (except  on  a  high 
fast.)  Abbot's  kitchen  distinct  from  that  of  the  visitors, 
so  that  the  monks  might  not  be  disturbed  by  the  entrance 
of  guests  at  unreasonable  hours.  No  letters  or  presents 
to  be  received  without  the  abbot's  leave.  Abbot  to  invite 
his  monks  when  he  had  no  strangers.  Workmen  in  the 
house  to  labour  for  the  common  profit.  Novices  to  be 
tried  by  denial  and  hard  labour  before  admission ;  rule 
read  to  them  in  the  interim  every  fourth  month ;  admitted 
by  a  petition  laid  upon  the  altar,  and  prostration  at  the 


BERNARD.  S91 

feet  of  all  the  monks.  Parents  to  offer  their  children 
by  wrapping  their  hands  in  the  pall  of  the  altar,  pro- 
mising to  leave  nothing  to  them ;  and,  if  they  gave  any- 
thing with  them,  reserving  the  use  of  it  during  their  lives. 
Priests  requesting  admission  to  be  tried  by  delays  ;  to  sit 
near  the  abbot,  but  not  to  exercise  sacerdotal  functions 
without  leave,  and  to  conform  to  the  rule.  Strange 
monks  to  be  received,  and  if  good,  entreated  to  stay. 
Monks  ordained  priests,  to  be  subject  to  the  rule  and 
officers,  or  else  expelled.  Precedence,  according  to  the 
time  of  profession.  Elders  to  call  the  juniors  brothers, 
the  juniors  to  call  the  elders  nonnos  ;  the  abbot  Dominus 
or  Peter.  When  two  monks  met,  the  junior  was  to  ask 
benediction  of  the  senior ;  and  when  he  passed  by,  the 
junior  was  to  rise  and  give  him  his  seat,  nor  to  sit  till  he 
had  time.  Abbot  to  be  elected  by  the  whole  society,  and 
plurality  of  votes,  his  life  and  prudence  to  be  the  qualifi- 
cations. Prior  elected  by  the  abbot,  deposable  for  dis- 
obedience. Porter  to  be  a  wise  old  man,  able  to  give  and 
receive  an  answer ;  he  was  to  have  a  cell  near  the  gate, 
and  a  junior  for  a  companion.  If  possible  to  prevent 
evagation  ;  water,  mill,  garden,  oven,  and  all  other  mecha- 
nical shops,  to  be  within  the  house.  Monks  going  on  a 
journey  to  have  previous  prayers  of  the  house,  and  on 
return  to  pray  for  pardon  of  excesses  by  the  way.  Impos- 
sible things  ordered  by  the  superior  to  be  humbly  repre- 
sented to  him  ;  but  if  he  persisted,  the  assistance  of  God 
to  be  relied  on  for  their  execution.  Not  to  defend  or 
excuse  one  another's  faults.  No  blows  or  excommunica- 
tion without  the  permission  of  the  abbot.  Mutual  obedi- 
ence, but  no  preference  of  a  private  person's  commands 
over  those  of  a  superior.  Prostration  at  the  feet  of  the 
superiors  as  long  as  they  were  angry."  Sanctorum  Pa- 
trum  Reg.  Monast.  Louv.  12mo.  1571,  fol.  9.  51.  Job. 
de  Turrecremata.     Concordia  Regularum,  &c.  &c. 

After  his  return  to  the  monastery,  Bernard  found  it 
necessary  to  relax  somewhat  of  his  austerity,  and  in  after 
years  regretted  the  excesses  to  which  his  enthusiasm  had 


292  BERNARD. 

led  him,  as  tending  to  interfere  with  his  usefulness  by 
unduly  reducing  his  strength.  He  was  indeed  called  to 
active  life  at  an  early  age,  his  opinion,  advice,  and  medi- 
ation being  sought  by  all  persons  and  all  classes,  and  his 
energetic  mind  thrusting  him  forward  upon  every  occasion 
when  the  welfare  of  the  Church  was  concerned. 

The  influence  of  Bernard  over  the  minds  of  men  of  all 
classes  seems  to  have  been  perfectly  marvellous,  and  must 
in  part  be  accounted  for  by  the  fact,  that  he  lived  up  to 
the  standard  of  religious  excellence  which  was  at  that 
time  set  before  the  minds  of  men,  so  far  as  the  infirmities 
of  human  nature  would  permit.     He  was  single-minded, 
he  had  no  selfish  objects  in  view ;   his  simple  desire  was 
to  promote    the  interests   of  religion,   and  maintain  the 
purity  and  independence  of  the  Church,  and  this  he  was 
prepared   to   do    at    all   hazards    against   monarchs    and 
against  the  pope  himself.     He  was  fearless  of  man,  and  of 
his  integrity  no  one  could  entertain  a  doubt.     It  is  aston- 
ishing what  one  man  may  do,  if  he  can  obliterate  every 
selfish    feeling    and    motive.     Then    again,    his   extreme 
vivacity  and  the  fiery  energy  of  his  manner  produced  such 
an  impression  upon  the  minds  of  men,  even  of  those  who 
only  saw  him  and   heard  nothing  but  the  sound  of  his 
voice,  that,  as  it  is  related  in  his  life,  when  he  preached  to 
the  Germans,  they  were  moved  to  tears  by  his  exhorta- 
tions without  having    understood  a  single  word   of  the 
language  in  which  they  were  uttered.     The  thinness  of 
his  slightly  built  frame,  only  made  people  think  of  the 
precious  soul  which  that  frail  earthen    vessel  contained. 
His  neck  especially  was  very  long  and  delicate,  and  his 
personal    appearance  such  as  to  attract    attention.     We 
have  an  instance  on  record  of  the  manner  in  which  he 
turned  this  to  advantage  on  a  particular  occasion :  when  at 
a  later  period  of  life  he  had  been  preaching  at  Toulouse, 
at  the  conclusion  of  his  sermon,  he  was  about  to  mount 
his  horse,  when  one  of  the  sectaries  came  forward,   and 
called  aloud    to  him,  "  Know,    my  lord  abbot,   that  the 
horse  of  our  master,  against  whom  you  have  been  speaking 


BERNARD.  293 

so  freely,  is  by  no  means  so  fat  and  well-conditioned  as 
yours."  Bernard,  without  manifesting  the  least  disturb- 
ance, replied  with  a  good-humoured  glance  at  the  man, 
"  I  do  not  deny  it,  my  friend;  but  I  would  thou  shouldst 
remember  that  this  is  a  boast  for  the  which  thou  dost 
reprove  me.  Now,  to  be  fat  and  well-conditioned  is  suit- 
able to  the  nature  and  appointment  of  beasts ;  and  God, 
who  will  not  judge  us  for  such  matters,  is  not  thereby 
offended  ;  but  every  man  shall  answer  for  himself."  And 
so  saying,  he  threw  back  his  cowl,  and  discovered  his 
wasted  throat,  and  thin  and  withered  countenance ;  and 
this  was  to  the  people  the  most  conclusive  refutation  of 
the  sectarian. 

No  restraint  was  felt  by  Bernard  in  addressing  persons 
of  higher  station  in  thp.  Church  than  himself,  and  simple 
monk,  as  he  was,  he  did  not  feel  that  he  was  stepping  out 
of  his  line  when,  for  the  good  of  the  Church,  he  thought 
it  expedient  to  admonish  bishops  and  archbishops.  We 
have  an  instance  of  this  in  the  case  of  Henry  of  Sens,  one 
of  the  most  distinguished  of  the  French  prelates,  who  on 
his  determining  to  amend  his  life,  which  had  not  been 
strictly  episcopal,  received  from  Bernard  a  treatise  on  the 
duties  of  a  bishop.  Such  was  the  object  of  Bernard's 
work,  De  moribus  et  officio  Episcoporum.  He  first  draws 
the  character  of  a  true  priest,  who,  by  a  genuine  spiritual 
life  becomes  an  example  to  his  flock.  "Is  it  fitting,"  he 
says,  "  that  the  shepherd  should,  like  the  animals,  follow 
the  sensual  appetites,  that  he  should  cleave  to  the  vilest 
things,  and  seek  after  earthly  matters  ?  And  not  rather, 
standing  erect  like  a  man,  look  up  by  the  Spirit  into 
heaven,  in  search  of  the  Supreme  God  ?"  He  then  repre- 
sents the  vocation  of  a  Christian  priest,  as  it  appeared  to 
him  in  that  age.  "  As  a  good  mediator  he  brings  to  God 
the  prayers  and  pious  purposes  of  the  congregation,  and 
conveys  back  to  them  the  blessing  and  the  grace  of  God  ; 
he  implores  the  Supreme  Being  for  the  forgiveness  of 
sinners,  and  rebukes  sinners  for  their  offences  against 
God  :  the  unthankful  he  reminds  of  God's  favours ;  the 
2b  2 


m  BERNARD. 

blasphemous  and  despisers,  of  his  inexorable  justice ;  yet 
striving  all  the  while  to  reconcile  their  offended  God  to 
them;  now  exhibiting  the  weakness  of  man,  and  then 
dwelling  on  the  greatness  of  their  Heavenly  Father's  love. 
A  faithful  priest,  who  regardeth,  with  dove-like  simplicity, 
all  the  wealth  that  passes  through  his  hands,  whether  it 
be  of  '  the  dew  of  heaven  from  above, '  or  the  vows  of  men 
that  are  offered  unto  God,  keeping  back  nought  for  him- 
self, and  seeking,  not  the  gifts,  but  the  good  of  his  flock  ; 
not  his  own  glory,  but  the  glory  of  God." 

After  having  proposed  this  pattern  of  a  priest  and  min- 
ister, Bernard  goes  on  to  rebuke  the  opposite  errors  and 
abuses  ;  the  pomp  of  the  clergy,  especially  in  their  dress, 
the  costly  foreign  furs,  worn  on  occasions  of  ceremony  (c.  15), 
and  their  horse  furniture,  decorated  as  it  was  with  the 
richest  ornaments,  and  glittering  with  gold  and  precious 
stones.  With  the  most  moving  earnestness  he  reminds 
them,  that  what  they  thus  lavish  in  vain  pomp  is  taken 
from  the  poor.  The  naked  and  the  hungry  complain,  and 
cry  aloud  "You  are  squandering  that  which  belongs  to  us, 
for  we  also  are  God  s  creatures,  and  the  Blood  of  Christ 
was  shed  for  our  redemption  as  well  as  yours."  "  If," 
says  Bernard  to  the  archbishop  (c.7),  "he  be  tempted  to 
pride  by  his  condition,  his  age,  his  learning,  or  the  dig- 
nity of  his  episcopal  see,  he  will  be  straightway  humbled, 
and  filled  with  dread  by  the  consciousness  of  the  respon- 
sibility of  his  calling ;  and  indeed,  it  is  only  because  men 
are  prevented  by  the  glare  of  the  splendour  which  sur- 
rounds them,  from  discerning  their  duties  and  burdens, 
that  they  press  forward  to  the  highest  ecclesiastical 
offices. "  Here  he  manifests  his  displeasure  at  the  traffic 
which  is  carried  on  in  holy  things.  "  School-boys  and 
beardless  youths,  whose  birth  is  their  only  merit,  are 
promoted  to  ecclesiastical  dignities — boys  who  rejoice  in 
these  chiefly  as  a  means  of  escaping  from  the  rod.  And 
what  is  yet  more  wonderful,  the  clergy  themselves,  im- 
pelled only  by  covetousness  and  ambition,  overlook  their 
duties  and  burdens  in  their  eager  seeking  after  higher 


BERNARD.  295 

dignities.  Is  one  a  bishop,  he  then  aspires  to  an  arch- 
bishopric ;  has  he  attained  that,  he  then  dreams  of  some- 
thing still  higher,  and  by  tedious  journeys  and  costly 
friendships,  seeks  to  purchase  partizans  at  the  court  of 
Rome.  Some  endeavour  to  get  all  privileges  at  once. 
Under  the  pretext  of  extending  their  dioceses  beyond 
their  proper  limits,  they  appropriate  to  themselves  that 
which  does  not  belong  to  them,  and  alas  !  even  on  the  veiy 
threslilwld  of  the  Apostles,  they  find  men  capable  of  favour- 
ing their  evil  purposes :  not  that  the  Romans  take  any 
great  interest  in  the  result  of  the  business,  but  because  they 
gladly  receive  the  bribes  that  it  brings  with  it."  By  the 
side  of  this  greedy  ambition,  Bernard  places  the  affected 
humility,  with  which  men  entered  on  the  episcopal  office, 
and  which  had  become  a  mere  formal  etiquette.  "  Verily 
(c.  16),  as  though  ye  had  been  forced  into  the  bishopric,  ye 
did  weep  and  complain  of  compulsion,  and  style  your- 
selves wretched  and  unworthy,  and  altogether  unmeet  for 
so  holy  an  office." 

It  is  well  for  the  admirers  of  the  medieval  church,  to 
the  disparagement  of  the  church  of  England,  as  it  now 
exists  in  its  reformed  state,  to  learn  the  character  of 
medieval  ecclesiastics  from  statements  such  as  these;  We 
are  by  no  means  among  those  who  would  depreciate  those 
times :  virtues  then  flourished  which  we  are  unable  to 
equal,  but  vices  also  prevailed  from  which  we  are  happily 
liberated  ;  and  when  we  complain  of  either  the  worldliness 
or  the  ignorance  of  our  bishops,  if  the  charge  can  be  sub- 
stantiated, we  must  not  forget  that  worldliness  and  ignor- 
ance prevailed  also  in  the  middle  ages,  and  as  then,  so 
now,  the  learning  and  the  disinterestedness  of  many  are 
to  be  dwelt  upon  with  thankfulness,  and  are  to  be  placed 
in  contrast  with  the  faults  of  those  who  form,  it  is  always 
to  be  hoped,  the  exception  to  the  rule.  We  would  not 
depreciate  the  past  ages  by  comparison  with  the  present, 
or  the  present  by  comparison  with  the  past.  Each  has  its 
peculiar  virtues,  and  its  peculiar  faults. 

Nor  did   Bernard    spare    the   papal   court.     A  quarrel 


296  BERNARD. 

having  ensued  between  Louis  the  Sixth,  king  of  France, 
and  the  clergy  of  the  Gallican  church,  the  latter  laid  the 
kingdom   under  an  interdict,  and  the  king  procured  the 
pope's  authority  for  the  removal  of  the  interdict :  for  the 
popes  as  often  interfered  to  impede  as  to  support  the  dis- 
cipline of  the  Church,   and  it  had  been  long  since  disco- 
vered by  the  worldly-wise,  that  at  the  Romish  court  it  was 
not  exactly  the   interests  of  the  Church  which  had  the 
ascendancy.     Bernard  boldly  complained  to  the  pope  in 
his  own  name  and  in  that  of  many  other  persons  ;  and 
although  his  representations  had  then  effect,  he  received 
a  significant  hint  from  the  papal  chancellor,  Haimerich, 
that  "  he  should  no  longer  trouble  himself  so  much  with 
the    affairs   of  the  world,   since   this  was  unbecoming  a 
monk."   Bernard,  in  justifying  himself,  and  while  express- 
ing the  greatest  possible  deference  to  the  see  of  Rome, 
took  occasion  to  utter   some   home-truths   to   the   papal 
court ;  concluding  his  vindication  with  the  remark,  that 
41  even  if  we  were  to  hide  ourselves  and  hold  our  peace, 
the  murmurs  of  the  Church  would  still  continue,  while 
the  court  of  Rome  continues  to  give  judgment  according 
to  the  wishes  of  those  who  are  present,   rather  than  the 
rights  of  those  who  are  absent."     He  professed  his  disin- 
clination at  the  same  time  to  join  in  these  controversies  ; 
and  we  are  to  remember  of  Bernard,  that  his  great  exter- 
nal activity  was   never  permitted  to   interfere  with   the 
inward  life  of  his  contemplative  nature  :  he  was  always 
striving,   says  Neander,  to  impart  to  others,  both  by  his 
writings    and   discourses,    some  portion  of  the  spirit  by 
which  he  was  himself  replenished.     As  a  specimen  of  his 
pious    meditations,   and   in   evidence   of  his   profoundly 
religious  spirit,  the  following  extract  is  given  from   his 
epistle  to  Hugh,  prior  of  the  Carthusians  : 

"  Love  is  that  eternal,  creating,  and  ruling  law,  by 
which  all  things  were  made  in  their  appointed  measure, 
number,  and  weight;  and  there  is  nothing  without 
law,  for  even  the  law  of  all  things  is  subject  to  a  law, 
although  indeed    it  be   to  its   own  law,  through  which, 


BERNARD.  297 

though  it  did  not  indeed  create,  yet  it  rules  the  world. 
But  the  slaves  and  hirelings  have  not  received  their  law 
from  the  Lord,  but  from  themselves,  while  they  love  more 
than  God  that  which  is  not  God.  Thus  have  they  re- 
ceived a  self-imposed  law,  differing  from  the  law  of  God, 
and  yet  subject  to  it,  since  they  cannot  withdraw  it  from 
the  unchangeable  ordinances  of  God.  That  is  to  say,  that 
every  creature  hath,  by  preferring  his  own  will  to  the 
eternal  and  universal  law,  and  by  thus  striving  by  crooked 
ways  to  imitate  the  Creator,  made  a  bye-law  for  himself. 
Now  it  was  the  effect  of  God's  eternal  and  righteous  law 
that  those  creatures  that  would  not  submit  to  be  governed 
by  God  in  the  enjoyment  of  holiness,  should  be  overruled 
by  themselves  to  their  own  punishment ;  and,  as  they  had 
voluntarily  cast  away  the  light  and  pleasant  yoke  of  love, 
so  must  they  perforce  and  involuntarily  bear  the  heavy 
burden  of  their  own  will.  Whereas  we  are  first  fleshly, 
our  desires  and  our  love  must  be  brought  out  of  the  flesh, 
and  when  they  have  taken  the  right  direction,  they  shall 
by  the  aid  of  grace,  ascending  by  certain  and  sure  degrees, 
at  last  be  perfected  in  the  spirit.  At  first  man  loves 
himself  for  his  own  sake,  but  when  he  becomes  conscious 
that  he  cannot  exist  by  himself,  he  begins  to  seek  after 
and  to  love  God,  as  necessary  to  the  support  of  his  exist- 
ence :  at  this  second  step  man  loves  God  indeed,  but  it 
is  for  his  own  sake,  and  not  in  obedience  to  the  will  of 
God.  But  when  he  hath  once  begun  to  raise  his  thoughts 
to  God,  to  pray  to  Him,  to  obey  Him,  though  it  be  from 
selfishness,  God  reveals  Himself  to  him  by  degrees  in 
this  confidential  intercourse.  He  wins  his  love,  and  so 
having  tasted  the  good  will  of  the  Lord,  man  passes  to  the 
third  step,  to  love  God  for  God's  sake,  and  on  this  step 
he  remaineth  ;  for  I  know  not  whether  any  man  hath  in 
this  life  ever  reached  the  fourth  step  altogether — namely, 
to  love  himself  only  for  God's  sake.  But  this  shall  come 
to  pass  when  the  faithful  servants  shall  have  entered  into 
the  joy  of  their  Lord ;  then,  satiated  with  the  riches  of  the 
house  of  God,  and  forgetful  of  themselves,   they  shall,  in  a 


298  BERNARD. 

wonderful  manner,  be  wholly  merged  in  God,  and  united 
with  Him  in  one  spirit." 

Vain  indeed  is  all  zeal  for  religion,  unless  there  be  an 
austere  regulation  of  the  inward  man ;  zeal  without  love 
is  a  mere  human  passion,  and  may  make  men  persecu- 
tors, but  will  never  make  them  saints. 

Bernard  was  called  forth  from  his  retirement  by  the 
very  power  which,  when  he  acted  counter  to  its  interests, 
sought  to  compel  him  to  retire.  It  was  by  the  express 
command  of  Matthew  of  Alba,  the  papal  legate,  that  he 
unwillingly  took  part  in  the  deliberations  of  the  council 
which  assembled  at  Troyes  in  1128,  where  the  order  of 
knights  templars  received  its  more  settled  form.  It  had 
in  a  manner  existed  from  the  year  1118,  when  nine  men 
of  illustrious  descent,  united  for  the  purpose  of  keeping 
the  road  to  the  Holy  Sepulchre  open  for  pilgrims,  and 
consecrated  their  lives  to  the  service ;  taking  the  vows  of 
canons  regular  before  the  patriarch  of  Jerusalem.  They 
derived  their  title,  Knights  Templars,  or  Knights  of  the 
Temple,  from  their  place  of  residence,  which  was  the  site 
of  Solomon's  Temple.  For  ten  years  the  association 
existed  without  a  fixed  rule,  or  any  addition  "to  their 
number.  But  at  the  council  of  Troyes  they  received  their 
rule  ;  and  'through  the  recommendation  and  influence  of 
Bernard,  the  order  was  greatly  extended.  He  even  wrote 
in  their  favour,  and  his  "  Commendation  of  the  New 
Order  of  Knighthood,"  Liber  de  Laude  Novae  Militias 
Templi,  was  written  at  the  request  of  Hugo-a-Paganis, 
the  first  grandmaster. 

But  the  energies  of  Bernard's  mind  were  employed 
even  in  the  minor  controversies  between  the  monks  of  his 
own  order  and  the  Cluniacs,  whom  he  accused  of  various 
deviations  from  the  Benedictine  rule,  and  of  unnecessary 
expense,  not  only  in  their  domestic  arrangements,  but  in 
the  decorations  of  their  churches.  Peter  the  Venerable 
was  abbot  of  Clugni,  and  he  signalized  his  Christian 
moderation  and  gentleness  in  composing  the  differences 
between  the   rival   orders.      Bernard  had   attacked    the 


BERNARD.  299 

Cluniacs  with  his  usual  unsparing  vigor,  and  Peter  the 
Venerable  had  defended  them  with  judgment,  but  with 
determination.  A  misunderstanding  between  the  abbots 
arose  more  than  once,  but  they  were  united  by  feelings  of 
friendship  and  respect,  and  it  is  pleasant  to  read  the 
following  letter  written  at  a  later  period  by  Bernard  to 
Peter  : 

"What  are  you  about,  my  good  man?  you  laud  a 
sinner  and  beatify  a  miserable  creature.  You  must  add  a 
prayer,  that  I  may  not  be  led  into  temptation.  For  I 
shall  be  led  into  it,  if,  feeling  complacency  in  such  com- 
pliments, I  begin  not  to  know  myself.  How  happy  now 
might  I  be,  if  words  could  make  me  happy.  Happy  never- 
theless I  shall  call  myself,  but  in  your  regard,  not  in  my 
own  praises.  Happy  that  I  am  loved  by,  and  that  I  love, 
you.  Though  indeed  this  morsel,  sweet  as  it  is  to  me, 
must  be  a  little  modified.  Do  you  wonder  why  ?  It  is 
because  I  do  not  see  what  claim  I  have  to  such  affection, 
especially  from  such  a  man.  You  know,  however,  that  to 
desire  to  be  more  beloved  than  one  deserves  is  unjust.  I 
would  that  I  might  be  enabled  to  imitate,  as  well  as  to 
admire,  that  mark  of  humility.  I  would  that  I  might 
enjoy  your  holy  and  desired  presence,  I  do  not  say  always, 
or  even  often,  but  at  least  once  a  year.  I  think  I  should 
never  return  empty.  I  should  not,  I  say,  look  in  vain  at 
a  pattern  of  discipline,  a  mirror  of  holiness.  And  (that 
which,  I  confess,  I  have  as  yet  but  too  little  learned  of 
Christ)  I  should  not  quite  in  vain  have  before  my  eyes 
your  example  of  meekness  and  lowliness  of  heart.  But  if 
I  go  on  to  do  to  you  what  I  have  complained  of  your 
doing  to  me,  though  I  may  speak  the  truth,  yet  I  shall 
act  contrary  to  the  word  of  truth,  which  commands  us  not 
to  do  to  others  what  we  would  not  that  they  should  do  to 
us.  Therefore  let  me  now  reply  to  the  little  request  with 
which  you  concluded  your  letter.  He  whom  you  order  to 
be  sent  to  you  is  not  at  present  with  me,  but  with  the 
bishop  of  Auxerre,  and  so  ill,  that  he  could  not,  without 
great  inconvenience,  come  either  to  me  or  to  you." 


300  BERNARD. 

A  schism  existed  in  the  papacy  about  this  time,  car- 
dinal Gregorio  having  been  elected  pope  by  one  party,  by 
the  name  of  Innocent  the  Second ;  and  cardinal  Petrus 
Leonis,  who  took  the  name  of  Anacletus  the  Second, 
having  been  elected  by  another  party.  The  decision  of 
the  rival  claims  of  the  respective  popes  was  remitted  by 
king  Louis  to  his  bishops,  and  they  accordingly  assembled 
at  Etampes  for  this  purpose  in  1130.  To  the  council  the 
abbot  of  Clairvaux  was  summoned.  The  case  was  left 
entirely  in  his  hands,  and  his  decision  in  favour  of  Inno- 
cent was  unanimously  deemed  conclusive  :  a  fact  which  is 
less  surprising,  when  we  are  informed  that  the  members 
of  the  council  were  already  predisposed  in  favour  of 
Innocent.  It  was  one  of  those  circumstances  which  ren- 
dered Bernard  so  powerful,  that  his  constitutional  cast  of 
thought  and  feeling  was  in  harmony  with  the  spirit  of  the 
age,  and  it  was  generally  felt  that  when  he  was  consulted 
he  would  come  to  the  conclusion  which  would  commend 
itself  to  the  judgment  of  the  vast  majority  of  his  contem- 
poraries. Bernard  was  not  of  a  disposition  to  patronize 
Innocent  by  halves,  but  as  through  him  France  had  been 
induced  to  regard  him  as  the  true  pope,  the  indefatigable 
abbot  never  rested  in  his  exertion  until  he  had  secured 
his  recognition  in  other  regions  of  the  West.  His  labours, 
especially  in  Italy,  were  great,  and  while  kings  and  pre- 
lates were  ready  to  defer  to  him,  his  popularity  among  the 
common  people  was  such,  that  wherever  he  appeared  they 
crowded  around  him,  and  almost  worshipped  him  as  a  saint. 
At  Milan,  we  are  told  "  that  at  his  nod  all  gold  and  silver 
ornaments  were  removed  from  the  churches,  and  shut  up 
in  chests,  as  being  offensive  to  the  holy  abbot ;  men  and 
women  clothed  themselves  either  in  hair-cloth,  or  in  the 
meanest  woollen  garments,"  and  did  whatever  he  directed. 
They  earnestly  desired  to  detain  him  among  them  as 
their  metropolitan,  and  entreated  his  acceptance  of  the 
archiepiscopal  office,  but  Bernard  had  long  since  deter- 
mined on  refusing  any  elevated  post  in  the  Church, 
choosing  rather,  as  a  simple  monk,  to  have  the  guidance 


BERNARD.  301 

of  princes  and  prelates,  than  to  become  either  bishop  or 
pope  himself.  At  the  same  time  we  have  to  regret  that 
Bernard  was  one  of  those  who,  with  the  best  intentions, 
advocated  the  papal  supremacy,  and  entertained  the  idea 
of  there  being  a  universal  bishop,  to  whom  all  other 
bishops  ought  to  submit. 

In  1135  Bernard  set  out  from  Italy  on  his  return  to 
France.  On  his  passage  over  the  Alps  he  was  met  by 
crowds  of  shepherds  and  peasants,  who  came  to  receive 
his  blessing.  His  return  through  the  north  of  Italy, 
Switzerland,  and  France,  resembled  a  royal  progress. 
At  the  gates  of  Placentia  he  was  received  by  the  bishop 
and  clergy,  who  conducted  him  in  solemn  procession  into 
their  city.  At  Florence  he  met  with  a  similar  reception. 
The  shepherds  of  the  Alps  forsook  their  flocks  to  come 
and  ask  his  benediction.  From  Besangon  he  was  solemnly 
escorted  to  Langres,  and  at  a  short  distance  from  that  city 
he  found  his  brethren  from  Clairvaux,  who  had  hastened 
to  meet  him  on  the  news  of  his  approach.  "  They  fell  on 
his  neck,  they  embraced  his  knees,  they  spoke  to  him  by 
turns,  and  full  of  joyous  exultation  they  accompanied  him 
to  Clairvaux,"  says  the  Annalist  of  Citeaux. 

It  was  soon  after  Bernard's  return,  that  the  rebuilding 
of  Clairvaux  commenced.  The  monastery  was  no  longer 
capable  of  containing  the  numbers  who  nocked  to  it  for 
admission ;  a  hundred  novices,  principally  from  the  banks 
of  the  Rhine,  where  Bernard  had  preached  the  preceding 
year,  had  been  recently  received,  and  the  original  builcling; 
placed  in  the  angle  formed  by  two  hills,  could  not  be 
enlarged  so  as  to  accommodate  them.  It  was  necessary 
to  pull  it  down  and  rebuild  it  entirely.  The  expense  of 
so  vast  an  undertaking  weighed  heavily  on  the  mind  of 
Bernard.  "  Remember,"  he  said  to  his  monks,  "  remem- 
ber the  labour  and  cost  of  our  present  house,  with  what 
infinite  pains  did  we  at  last  succeed  in  constructing  aque- 
ducts to  bring  water  into  our  offices  and  workshops  ;  and 
what  would  now  be  said  of  us  if  we  were  to  destroy  our 
vol.  n.  2  c 


302  BERNARD. 

own  work  ?  We  should  be  counted  fools,  and  with  reason, 
since  we  have  no  money.  Let  us  not  then  forget  that 
word  of  the  Gospel,  '  that  he  who  would  build  a  tower, 
must  first  sit  down  and  calculate  the  cost.'  "  To  this  the 
brethren  replied,  "  You  must  either  repulse  those  who  are 
sent  to  you  by  God,  or  you  must  build  lodgings  for  them  ; 
and  surely  we  should  be  truly  miserable,  if  through  fear 
of  the  expense  we  were  to  oppose  any  obstacles  to  the 
development  of  God's  work."  The  abbot,  touched  by  these 
representations,  yielded  to  the  general  wishes  of  the  com- 
munity, offerings  flowed  in  from  all  parts,  and  the  build- 
ings advanced  with  incredible  rapidity.  Thibaut,  count 
of  Champagne,  granted  the  charter  of  this  second  founda- 
tion in  the  year  1135,  and  with  his  daughter  Matilda, 
countess  of  Flanders,  and  her  husband,  Philip,  who  were 
subsequently  buried  at  Clairvaux,  contributed  largely  to 
the  endowment,  as  well  as  Ermengarde,  countess  of 
Bretagne.  It  is  described  in  the  deed  of  enrollment, 
as  "  in  Banno  Morasma  quae  vocatur  Bellum  Pratum." 
In  the  hill  situate  to  the  west  of  this  valley,  was 
a  spring  of  clear  water,  which  after  making  its  way 
to  the  meadows  below,  lost  itself  under  ground,  and  at 
a  little  distance  re-appeared  ;  and  it  was  at  this  point 
that  the  new  monastery  was  erected.  The  monks  had 
timber  at  hand  for  their  buildings,  for  the  forest  of 
Clairvaux  is  stated  to  have  been  7000  toises  in  length, 
and  3000  in  breadth,  that  is,  about  eight  miles  long  and 
three  broad. 

Of  Bernard,  in  his  retirement  and  as  abbot  of  Clairvaux, 
we  have  the  following  interesting  account : 

In  spite  of  the  delicacy  of  his  health,  Bernard  was 
in  the  habit  of  preaching  every  day  to  his  monks.  His 
eloquence,  according  to  the  statement  of  his  contempo- 
raries, was  overpowering.  His  voice,  though  wreak,  was 
wonderfully  flexible  and  melodious,  and  its  effect  was 
enhanced  by  a  countenance  which  expressed  every  emotion 
of  his  sensitive  heart.    It  is  said  that  we  owe  the  discourses 


BERNARD.  808 

which   have  come  down  to  us,  to  the  care  of  the  monks, 
who  wrote  them  as  he  delivered  them. 

It  was  during  this  interval  of  retirement  in  his  "  beloved 
Jerusalem,"  as  Bernard  was  accustomed  to  call  Clairvaux: 
that  he  composed  his  sermons  on  the  Canticles ;  in  which, 
says  Milner,  "  we  have  laid  before  us  the  inward  soul  of 
a  saint  of  the  12th  century,  confessing  and  describing  the 
vicissitudes  of  spiritual  consolation  and  declension : 
which,  with  more  or  less  variety,  are  known  to  real  Chris- 
tians in  all  ages  of  the  Church."  They  were  preached 
to  his  brethren  at  the  daily  service,  and  it  appears  from 
one  of  his  letters  that  he  was  led  to  make  choice  of 
this  divine  book  as  the  text  of  his  discourses,  from  his 
own  intimate  consciousness  of  the  force  of  divine  Jove 
as  a  motive  of  action.  "  For  myself,"  says  Bernard,  "  I 
serve  God  freely,  because  I  serve  him  from  love,  and 
it  is  to  the  practice  of  this  love  that  I  exhort  you,  my 
beloved  and  dear  children.  Serve  God  with  love,  with 
that  perfect  love  which  casteth  out  fear,  which  feels  not 
the  burden  of  the  day,  which  counts  not  the  cost  of  the 
labour,  which  works  not  for  wages,  and  which  is  yet  the 
most  powerful  motive  of  action."  "  We  must,"  he  saye 
elsewhere,  "  regard  rather  the  affections  than  the  expres- 
sions in  the  Song  of  Songs.  Love  is  the  speaker  through- 
out, and  if  any  one  wish  to  understand  it,  it  must  be  by 
love.  He  who  loveth  not,  will  in  vain  approach  either  to 
hear  or  to  read,  for  this  discourse  of  fire  can  never  be 
apprehended  by  a  heart  of  ice."  "  This  sweet  colloquy 
requireth  chaste  ears,  and  in  the  loving  ones  whom  it 
pourtrayeth  do  not  represent  to  yourselves  a  man  and 
woman,  but  the  Word  and  the  soul,  Jesus  Christ  and  the 
Church,  which  is  the  same  thing,  except  that  the  Church, 
instead  of  one  soul,  denotes  the  unity  of  many."  During 
the  rebuilding  of  the  abbey,  Bernard  lived  in  a  green  ar- 
bour, which  he  had  erected  in  the  most  retired  part  of  the 
valley,  and  there  it  was  his  wont  to  meditate  on  the  sub- 
jects of  his  discourses,  which  were  often  preached  extem- 
pore, after  being  prepared  hy  meditation  and  prayer.    He 


304  BERNARD. 

was  interrupted  by  a  second  call  to  Italy,  but  resumed  the 
subject  on  his  return  ;  and  it  was  soon  after  this,  that  he 
had  to  deplore  the  loss  of  his  favourite  brother  Gerard, 
the  companion  of  all  his  journey ings,  who  died  trium- 
phantly in  his  arms,  chanting  a  psalm  of  thanksgiving,  on 
the  13th  of  April,  1139.  Like  David,  Bernard  had  given 
way  to  his  grief  while  Gerard  was  languishing  and  dying, 
but  when  all  was  over,  he  stifled  every  sign  of  feeling,  and 
even  presided  at  the  funeral  rites  with  an  air  of  the  most 
profound  calmness  and  insensibility,  while  all  around  him 
were  dissolved  in  tears ;  a  circumstance  the  more  remarked 
by  his  brethren,  because  he  had  ever  before  wept  over 
every  monk  whom  he  had  lost,  with  the  tenderness 
of  a  mother.  At  the  accustomed  hour,  Bernard,  who 
never  suffered  any  circumstances  to  interrupt  the  per- 
formance of  his  religious  duties,  mounted  the  pulpit  as 
usual,  and  continued  the  exposition  of  the  Canticles  ;  but 
on  a  sudden  he  stopped,  overcome  by  his  feelings,  and 
almost  suffocated  by  the  grief  he  had  repressed;  then 
after  a  pause  he  continued,  and  the  tribute  he  paid  to  his 
brother  in  this  unpremeditated  funeral  oration  affords 
a  lively  portrait  of  his  own  affectionate  character. 

Without  referring  to  some  of  those  slighter  traits  which 
might  be  alluded  to  as  characterizing  Bernard's  activity 
at  this  epoch  of  his  life,  for  he  was  not  permitted  to 
remain  long  in  retirement,  we  must  allude  to  his  contro- 
versy with  the  notorious  Abelard,  and  his  opposition  to 
the  system  of  treating  theological  subjects  which  was  at 
this  period  introduced.  A  taste  for  philosophical  studies 
had  now  spread  itself  among  theologians,  and  there  grew 
up  a  scholastic,  as  distinguished  from  positive  or  tradition- 
ary theology,  which  for  four  centuries  continued  to  engage 
the  attention  of  eminent  men  in  the  Church.  From  the 
beginning  of  the  twelfth  century,  Paris  became  the  chief 
seat  of  the  new  science,  and  Abelard  its  favourite  doctor. 
In  the  first  of  the  periods  into  which  the  scholastic 
theology  maybe  divided,  its  disciples  contented  themselves 
with  a  dialectic  treatment  of  the  received  system  of  the 


BERNARD. 

Church,  but  Abelard  became  bolder,  and  the  further  he 
pushed  his  irreverent  speculations,  the  greater  was  the 
enthusiasm  of  his  scholars.  He  was  led  by  his  profane 
and  irreverent  speculations  into  many  heresies,  asserting 
that  the  mysteries  of  faith  are  subject  to  reason,  and 
holding,  with  reference  to  the  Trinity,  views  nearly 
approaching  to  modern  Socinianism.  On  the  person  of 
Christ  he  agreed  with  the  Xestorians  ;  and  with  the 
Pelagians,  in  the  opinion  that  His  death  was  not  the  price 
of  our  redemption,  but  that  He  was  only  an  example  of 
patience,  perseverance,  charity,  and  virtue.  His  Intro- 
ductio  ad  Theologiam  was  condemned,  by  the  synod  of 
Soissons,  in  1121.  But  his  condemnation  only  served 
to  increase  his  fame  among  his  self-willed  disciples,  who 
followed  him  in  great  numbers  to  his  retirement  near 
Xogent.  Abelard,  thus  supported,  after  a  little  time 
resumed  the  teaching  of  his  heterodoxies,  and  his  philoso- 
phy was  diffused  beyond  the  Alps  and  the  seas,  by  his 
writings  and  by  his  enthusiastic  scholars. 

It  was  on  Bernard's  return  to  Clairvaux,  after  his  last 
visit  to  Rome,  that  his  attention  was  called  to  this  dis- 
tinctive philosophy  by  his  friend  the  abbot  of  St  Thierry, 
who  wrote  to  urge  him  to  exert  himself  in  the  cause  of 
the  "  faith,  of  our  common  hope,  now  grievously  and  dan- 
gerously corrupted."  With  his  letter  he  sent  Abelard's 
"  Theology,"  to  which  he  had  appended  his  own  remarks. 
It  would  appear  from  this  letter  that  Bernard  had  been 
at  first  favourably  inclined  towards  Abelard,  for  the  abbot 
William  thus  concludes  his  letter :  "  If  I  can  convince 
you  that  I  am  justly  moved,  I  trust  that  you  also  will  be 
moved,  and  in  an  important  cause  like  this,  will  not  fear 
to  part  with  him,  though  he  be  afoot,  a  hand,  or  an  eye. 
I  myself  have  loved  him,  and  wish  to  do  so  still,  God  is 
my  witness ;  but  in  this  cause,  I  see  neither  relation  nor 
friend." 

The     self-distrusting    humility    of  Bernard   is    fully 
evinced  in  his  answer.     "  I  think  your  zeal  both  just  and 
a  c2 


306  BERNARD. 

necessary,  and  that  it  was  not  idle,  the  book  you  have  sent 
me  demonstrates  ....  But  as  I  have  not  been  accus- 
tomed to  trust  to  my  own  judgment,  especially  on  things 
of  so  great  importance,  I  believe  the  best  way  would  be 
for  you  and  me  to  meet  and  talk  over  the  subject.  Yet 
even  this,  I  think,  cannot  be  done  till  after  Easter,  lest 
the  devotions  of  the  holy  season  be  disturbed.  I  must 
beseech  you  to  have  patience  with  me,  and  to  pardon  my 
silence  on  the  subject,  since  I  was  hitherto  ignorant  of 
most,  if  not  all  the  particulars.  As  to  that  which  you 
exhort  me  to,  God  is  able  to  inspire  me  with  His  good 
Spirit  through  your  prayers." 

Having  thoroughly  investigated  the  subject,  Bernard, 
now  fully  impressed  with  its  awful  magnitude,  undertook 
a  journey  to  visit  and  privately  confer  with  Abelard.  In 
these  conferences  he  kindly  admonished  him  of  his  errors, 
and  intreated  him  to  correct  them.  This  attempt  proving 
fruitless,  he  took  two  or  three  persons  with  him,  according 
to  the  precept  of  the  Gospel,  and  in  their  presence  expos- 
tulated with  the  innovator.  Finding  all  these  endeavours 
utterly  ineffectual,  and  having  proved  himself  sufficiently 
dear  from  personal  malice,  or  blind  precipitation,  he 
began,  as  far  as  he  could,  to  warn  the  disciples  of  Abelard 
against  the  errors  of  their  master,  and  to  guard  the 
Christian  world  against  the  growing  heresy. 

Abelard,  whose  aim  was  not  truth,  but  victory,  and  the 
establishment  of  his  own  fame,  rejoiced  in  an  opportunity 
of  entering,  as  he  hoped,  into  a  controversy  with  one  so 
eminent  as  St  Bernard.  A  numerous  synod  being  sum- 
moned to  assemble  at  Sens  in  the  year  1140,  he  declared 
himself  ready  to  dispute  with  Bernard,  and  to  refute  his 
charges.  He  was  ready,  with  the  chivalrous  spirit  of 
a  literary  knight  errant,  to  maintain  his  cause.  But 
Bernard  knew  that  the  doctrines  of  the  faith  are  too 
sacred  to  be  converted  into  subjects  for  dialectic  disputa- 
tion :  lie  knew  that  the  proper  course  was  to  have  the 
opinions  of  Abelard  compared  with  the  indisputable  doc- 


BERNARD.  307 

trines  of  the  Church.  They  were  orthodox  or  not ;  if 
orthodox,  let  him  be  acquitted ;  if  not,  let  him  be  con- 
demned. In  the  first  instance,  therefore,  Bernard  de- 
clined the  invitation  which  had  been  sent  him  by  the 
archbishop  of  Sens.  He  says,  "  I  declined  the  challenge, 
partly  because  I  was  but  a  youth,  and  he  a  man  of-war 
from  his  youth ;  partly,  because  I  hold  it  unmeet  to 
subject  matters  of  faith,  which  are  grounded  on  sure 
and  steadfast  truth,  to  the  subtleties  of  human  argumen- 
tation. I  replied  that  his  writings  are  sufficient  to  accuse 
him,  and  that  it  is  not  my  business,  but  that  of  the 
bishops,  whose  vocation  it  is  to  decide  questions  of  faith. 
Notwithstanding,  yea,  the  rather  for  this  answer,  he  lifted 
up  his  voice,  so  as  to  attract  many,  and  assembled  his 
adherents.  I  will  not  relate  the  things  that  he  wrote  of 
me  to  his  scholars,  but  he  affirmed  everywhere  that  he 
would  meet  and  dispute  with  me,  on  the  appointed  day, 
at  Sens.  The  news  reached  all  men,  and  could  not  be 
hidden  from  me.  At  first  I  disregarded  it  as  idle  gossip, 
undeserving  of  credit,  but  finally  I  yielded,  though  with 
great  reluctance,  and  with  many  tears,  to  the  counsel  of 
my  friends  ;  for,  seeing  that  all  men.  were  preparing  them- 
selves for  the  conference  as  for  an  encounter  of  combat- 
ants, they  feared  lest  my  absence  should  be  a  stumbling- 
block  to  the  people,  and  an  occasion  of  triumph  to  the 
adversary,  who  would  wax  stronger  if  none  could  be  found 
to  oppose  him.  So  I  came  to  the  appointed  place  at  the 
time  appointed,  but  unprepared,  and  mindful  of  those 
words  of  Scripture,  '  Do  not  premeditate  how  you  shall 
answer,  for  it  shall  be  given  you  in  that  same  hour  what 
ye  shall  say ;'  and  that  other,  '  The  Lord  is  my  helper ; 
whom,  then,  shall  I  fear  ?'  " 

Bernard  proceeded  on  the  principle  he  had  laid  down 
for  himself.  The  king  himself  was  present  at  the  council, 
surrounded  by  the  most  eminent  prelates  of  the  Gallican 
Church,  and  by  all  who  were  distinguished  for  learning  or 
pretensions  to  learning.  It  was  a  grand  opportunity  for 
intellectual  display,   but  Bernard  was  above  the  tempta- 


308  BERNARD. 

tion.  He  declined  to  argue ;  he  merely  selected  certain 
passages  from  the  writings  of  Abelard,  and  then  produced 
from  the  fathers  passages  by  which  they  were  refuted, 
Abelard  perceived  that  instead  of  being  a  disputant  secure 
of  a  faction  to  applaud  him,  he  was  placed  as  a  prisoner 
upon  his  trial :  he  was  therefore  silent,  and  the  propo- 
sitions from  his  writings  were,  as  a  matter  of  course, 
condemned  as  heretical.  He  appealed  to  the  pope  :  for 
all  parties,  heterodox  and  orthodox,  conspired  at  this  time 
in  elevating  the  papal  authority.  The  pope  condemned 
all  the  corrupt  doctrines  of  Abelard,  together  with  their 
author,  who,  as  a  heretic,  was  enjoined  perpetual  silence. 
For  an  account  of  Abelard's  retirement  to  the  abbey  of 
Clugni,  his  reconciliation  with  Bernard,  his  retractation, 
penitence,  and  death,  the  reader  is  referred  to  the  life  of 
Abelard,  already  given. 

About  the  year  1140,  Bernard  was  involved  in  an 
important  controversy  concerning  what  was  called  the 
immaculate  conception  of  the  Virgin  Mary.  Several 
Churches  in  France  began  about  that  time  to  celebrate  the 
festival  consecrated  to  this  pretended  conception.  It  is 
reported  by  some  authors  that  it  had  been  introduced  into 
our  own  church  of  England  before  this  period,  in  con- 
sequence of  the  exhortations  of  archbishop  Anselm.  The 
Church  of  Lyons  was  the  first  which  adopted  this  new 
festival  in  France,  which  no  sooner  came  to  the  knowledge 
of  St  Bernard,  than  he  severely  censured  the  canons  of 
Lyons  on  account  of  this  innovation,  and  opposed  the 
immaculate  conception  of  the  Virgin  with  the  greatest 
vigour,  as  it  supposed  her  to  be  honoured  with  a  privilege 
which  belonged  to  Christ  alone.  Upon  this  a  warm 
contest  arose  ;  some  siding  with  the  canons  of  Lyons,  and 
adopting  the  new  festival,  while  others  adhered  to  the 
more  orthodox  sentiments  of  St  Bernard.  The  contro- 
versy, notwithstanding  the  zeal  of  the  contending  parties, 
was  carried  on  during  this  century  with  a  certain  degree 
of  decency  and  moderation.  But  in  after  times,  as 
Moslieim  remarks,  when  the  Dominicans  were  established 


BERNARD.  309 

in  the  academy  of  Paris,  the  contest  was  renewed  with  the 
greatest  vehemence,  and  the  same  subject  was  debated  on 
both  sides  with  the  utmost  animosity  and  contention  of 
mind.  The  Dominicans  declared  for  St  Bernard,  while 
the  academy  patronized  the  canons  of  Lyons,  and  adopted 
the  new  festival. 

Bernard  was  soon  after  taken  by  surprise  when  he 
heard  that  his  protege  and  namesake  whom,  at  the  re- 
quest of  Innocent,  he  had  sent  to  preside  over  the  Cister- 
cian monastery  at  Rome,  had  been  elected  pope  under  the 
name  of  Eugenius  the  Third.  Bernard  had  been  his 
spiritual  father,  and  indeed  in  early  life  Eugenius  had 
resigned  an  honourable  and  lucrative  office  in  the  church 
of  Pisa,  to  place  himself  at  Clairvaux  under  Bernard.  The 
letter  which  Bernard  addressed  the  new  pope  is  character- 
istic :  "  I  dare  no  longer,"  writes  Bernard  to  the  new  pope, 
"  call  you  my  son,  for  the  son  is  become  the  father,  the 
father  the  son;  yet  I  envy  you  not;  for  that  which  is 
lacking  to  me,  I  trust  to  obtain  in  you,  for  you  are  my 
work.  I  may  call  you  my  son  in  the  spirit,  and  '  a 
wise  son  is  the  joy  of  his  father,'  (Prov.  x.  1.)  But 
from  henceforth  you  shall  no  more  be  called  my  son,  for  a 
new  name  have  you  received,  which  the  Lord  Himself 
hath  given  you.  This  change  is  from  the  Most  High, 
and  many  shall  rejoice  thereat.  As  Simon  was  turned 
into  Cephas,  and  Saul  to  Paul,  so  I  trust  that  for  you  it 
shall  also  be  a  blessed  transformation  that  has  made  of 
my  son  Bernard,  my  father  Eugenius.  And  now  that  this 
change  has  been  made  in  you,  the  Lamb's  Bride  com- 
mitted to  your  care  must  likewise  be  changed,  and  made 
better.  If  you  be  indeed  the  Bridegroom's  friend,  appro- 
priate not  to  yourself  His  Church,  or  appropriate  it  only 
so  as  to  be  willing  to  lay  down  your  life  for  it,  in  case  of 
necessity.  If  you  be  sent  by  Christ,  you  will  consider 
that  you  are  '  come  not  to  be  ministered  unto,  but  to 
minister.'  Then  shall  the  Church,  freed  from  her  bond- 
age, and  transfigured,  shine  forth  as  the  beloved  of  Him 
Who  is  the  only  object  of  her  desire.     But  if  you,   who 


310  BERNARD. 

have  formerly  learned  to  renounce  not  only  your  own,  but 
yourself,  should  now  (which  may  God  forbid  !)  be  found 
seeking  your  own  in  that  which  belongeth  to  Christ,  from 
whom  shall  the  Church  look  for  that  freedom  to  which 
she  is  entitled  ?  Confiding,  then,  more  in  you  than  in 
any  of  your  predecessors  for  a  long  season,  the  universal 
Church  rejoiceth,  and  especially  that  Church  which  has 
borne  you  in  her  bosom,  and  at  whose  breast  you  have 
imbibed  the  new  life.  And  shall  I  not  share  the  common 
joy?  Yea,  truly,  I  confess  it,  J  also  rejoiced;  but  in  the 
moment  of  rejoicing,  fear  and  trembling  seized  me,  for 
though  I  have  laid  aside  the  name  of  father,  yet  have  I 
not  laid  aside  the  tender  love  and  anxious  solicitude  of  a 
father.  You  have  taken  a  higher  place,  but  not  so  safe  an 
one.  '  The  place  whereon  thou  standest  is  holy  ground  ;' 
the  place  of  the  first  of  the  apostles  ;  the  place  of  him 
whom  God  made  lord  of  His  house,  and  ruler  of  His 
kingdom,  who  is  buried  in  this  place  to  appear  as  a 
witness  against  you,  if  in  anything  you  depart  from  the 
way  of  the  Lord.  To  one  who  with  a  clear  conscience 
could  say,  '  Silver  and  gold  have  I  none,'  was  the  Church 
committed  in  her  infancy,  that  taught  by  his  words,  and 
edified  by  his  example,  she  might  leam  to  despise  all 
earthly  things." 

After  exhorting  the  pope  to  reprove  certain  worldly- 
minded  men  on  some  particular  occasion,  he  continues  : 
"  0 !  that  I  might  see  the  Church,  before  I  die,  as  it  was 
in  the  days  of  the  apostles,  who  made  it  their  business  to 
win  not  silver  and  gold,  but  souls.  How  earnestly  do  I 
desire  to  hear  from  you,  who  occupy  the  apostle's  place, 
the  apostle's  sentence, — '  Thy  money  perish  with  thee!' 
(The  answer  of  Peter  to  Simon  Magus,  Acts  viii.  26.) 
0  !  word  of  thunder,  at  which  all  the  enemies  of  Zion 
should  arise  and  flee  away  !  And  this  doth  your  Mother 
the  Church  require  of  you  :  for  this  do  her  children,  small 
and  great,  continually  sigh, — namely,  that  you  should 
root  out  every  plant  which  your  Heavenly  Father  hath 
not  planted ;  for  you  are  set  over  nations  and  kingdoms  to 


BERNARD.  211 

root  out  and  to  destro}',  and  to  build  up  and  to  plant. 
Yet,  in  all  your  undertakings,  remember  that  you  are  but 
a  man ;  and  let  the  fear  of  Him  who  taketh  away  the 
breath  of  princes,  be  ever  before  your  eyes.  How  many 
popes  have  been  removed  by  death,  even  in  your  own 
time  !  Let  these,  your  predecessors,  be  silent  monitors  of 
the  shortness  and  uncertainty  of  your  own  life,  and,  amid 
the  flatteries  of  surrounding  royalty,  let  your  thoughts  be 
ever  on  your  latter  end." 

Eugenius  was  involved  in  great  difficulties  owing  to  the 
insubordination  of  the  Roman  people,  excited,  as  their 
passions  had  been,  by  the  eloquence  of  Arnold  of  Brescia, 
and  Bernard  exerted  his  influence  with  the  emperor  to 
obtain  for  him  assistance,  when  the  attention  of  both,  and 
indeed  of  the  civilized  world,  was  called  to  an  undertaking 
of  yet  greater  importance, — the  second  Crusade. 

It  was  in  the  year  1145  that  information  was  received 
in  Europe  of  the  perilous  condition  of  the  newly  estab- 
lished kingdom  in  the  East.  Edessa  was  taken  by  the 
Saracens  ;  Antioch  and  Jerusalem  were  threatened.  The 
news  excited  universal  sorrow.  Louis  the  Seventh,  king 
of  France,  in  a  penitential  spirit,  was  the  first  who  pre- 
pared to  arm  in  defence  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre.  The 
French  king's  determination  was  approved  by  the  pope, 
Eugenius  III ;  and  Bernard  was  commissioned  to  travel 
through  France  and  Germany  for  the  purpose  of  raising 
an  army  of  crusaders.  The  success  of  Bernard  was  mar- 
vellous. The  unwilling  emperor,  Conrad  III,  yielded  at 
length  to  his  impassioned  eloquence.  In  his  manage- 
ment of  Conrad,  the  tact  and  good  taste  of  Bernard  were 
conspicuous.  It  was  at  Frankfort-on-Maine  that  he  had 
his  first  private  audience.  When  the  emperor  then  gave 
him  to  understand  how  little  interest  he  took  in  the 
matter,  Bernard  pressed  the  subject  no  farther,  but 
awaited  another  opportunity.  After  having  succeeded  in 
making  peace  between  several  of  the  princes  of  the 
empire,  he  preached  the  crusade  publicly,  exhorting  the 
emperor  and  princes  to  participate  in  it,  at  the  diet  held 


312  BERNARD. 

at  Christinas  in  the  city  of  Spires.  Three  days  after  this, 
he  again  addressed  the  emperor  in  private,  and  exhorted 
him,  in  a  friendly  and  affectionate  manner,  not  to  lose  the 
opportunity  of  so  short,  so  easy,  and  so  honourable  a  mode 
of  penance.  Conrad,  already  more  favourably  disposed  to 
the  undertaking,  replied  that  he  would  advise  with  his 
councillors,  and  give  him  an  answer  on  the  following  day. 
The  next  day  Bernard  officiated  at  the  holy  communion, 
to  which  he  unexpectedly  added  a  sermon  in  reference  to 
the  crusade.  Towards  the  conclusion  of  his  discourse,  he 
turned  to  the  emperor,  and  addressed  him  frankly,  as 
though  he  had  been  a  private  man.  He  described  the 
day  of  judgment,  when  the  men  who  had  received  such 
innumerable  benefits  from  God,  and  yet  had  refused  to 
minister  to  Him  to  the  utmost  of  their  power,  would  be 
left  without  reply  or  excuse.  He  then  spoke  of  the 
blessings  which  God  had  in  such  overflowing  measure 
poured  upon  the  head  of  Conrad;  the  highest  worldly 
dominion,  treasures  of  wealth,  gifts  of  mind  and  body,  till 
the  emperor,  moved  even  to  tears,  exclaimed,  "  I  acknow- 
ledge the  gifts  of  the  divine  mercy,  and  I  will  no  longer 
remain  ungrateful  for  them.  I  am  ready  for  the  service 
to  which  He  Himself  hath  exhorted  me."  x\t  these  words 
a  universal  shout  of  joy  burst  from  the  assembly ;  the 
emperor  immediately  received  the  cross,  and  several  of 
the  nobles  followed  his  example.  Bernard  then  took 
from  the  altar  the  consecrated  banner,  and  delivering  it 
to  the  emperor,  by  whom  it  was  to  be  carried  in  person  at 
the  head  of  the  crusaders,  he  proceeded  with  him  from 
the  church  to  his  lodgings. 

It  appears  from  contemporary  records,  that  one  great 
difficulty  which  Bernard  had  to  encounter  in  preaching  the 
crusade,  originated  in  the  religious  societies  for  the  build- 
ing of  churches,  then  the  great  object  of  popular  devotion. 
These  church  building  societies  were  regularly  organized, 
and  persons  of  both  sexes  and  of  all  ranks  aspired  to  the 
honour  of  labouring  in  them.  No  one  could  be  admitted 
till  he   had  reconciled  himself  to  God,  by  a  devout  and 


BERNARD.  313 

humble  confession  of  his  sins,  a  vow  of  obedience  to  the 
superior  of  the  association,  and  an  engagement  to  perform 
all  the  offices  of  charity  for  the  sick.  The  congregation 
then  marched  over  hill  and  dale,  under  the  conduct  of  a 
priest,  and  with  banner  displayed,  to  the  field  of  their  joint 
labours.  Some  curious  details  on  this  subject  may  be 
seen  in  a  letter  given  by  Mabillon,  Arm.  Ord.  S.  Bernd. 
t.  vi.  p.  392.  It  was  written  in  the  year  1145,  by  Haimo, 
abbot  of  St  Pierre,  in  Normandy,  who  saw  a  magnificent 
cathedral  rising  on  the  site  of  his  humble  parish  church. 

"Who  has  ever  heard  of  such  a  thing?"  exclaims  the 
astonished  abbot,  "  who  has  ever  seen  princes,  mighty 
lords,  men-at-arms,  and  delicate  women,  bend  their  necks 
to  the  yoke  to  which  they  suffer  themselves  to  be  attached 
like  beasts  of  draught,  so  as  to  move  heavy  burdens? 
Sometimes  thousands  of  them  are  to  be  seen  fastened  to 
one  machine,  of  great  weight,  loaded  with  wheat,  wine,  and 
oil ;  with  lime,  stone,  and  all  the  materials  necessary  for 
the  workmen,  which  they  drag  from  surprising  distances. 
Nothing  stops  their  progress ;  neither  hills,  valleys,  nor 
rivers,  which  they  cross  as  did  formerly  the  people  of 
God.  And  what  is  still  more  wonderful,  this  innu- 
merable company  pursues  its  march  without  noise  or 
confusion.  Their  voices  are  never  heard  except  at  a 
given  signal,  when  they  are  raised  to  implore  pardon  for 
their  sins,  or  to  chant  the  praises  of  God." 

It  will  be  evident  that  these  associations,  so  interest- 
ing to  the  imagination,  presented  a  formidable  obstacle 
to  the  successful  preaching  of  the  crusade.  It  must 
indeed  have  been  difficult  to  persuade  men  who  had 
consecrated  their  lives  to  the  advancement  of  the  cause 
of  religion  in  their  native  land,  and  who  were  cheered 
by  the  sight  of  their  daily  progress,  to  desert  the  sacred 
work  in  which  they  were  engaged,  for  an  object  of  remote 
interest  and  dubious  attainment.  Yet  even  this  obstacle 
was  surmounted  by  the  eloquence  of  Bernard. 

In  the  course  of  the  year  a  numerous  host  of  crusaders 

VOL.  II.  2  D 


314  BERNARD. 

took  their  departure  for  the  East.  The  observations  of 
Neander  on  this  subject  are  liberal  and  just,  which  in  one 
who  professes  liberality,  is  always  agreeable,  though  not 
very  common.  "  So  powerful,"  he  says,  "  in  this  age  was 
the  influence  of  sensations  of  devotional  remembrance, 
that  men  of  all  ranks  left  their  goods  and  their  homes, 
and  were  ready  to  lay  down  their  lives  to  deliver  from  the 
hands  of  the  infidel  those  localities  which  they  justly 
regarded  as  the  most  sacred  in  the  world,  from  their 
having  been  hallowed  by  events  the  most  sublime  and 
touching,  and  of  universal  interest;  and  to  open  them 
again  for  the  access  of  piety  and  devotion.  It  was, 
indeed,  a  mistake  to  seek  by  violence  and  blood,  the  con- 
quest of  that  place  from  which  peace  was  to  be  shed 
abroad  upon  the  whole  human  race ;  and  these  rude 
warriors,  actuated  by  devotional  sensations  which  they 
but  imperfectly  understood,  and  which  were  inadequately 
impressed  on  their  inner  being,  were  often  carried  away 
by  the  impulses  of  passion  and  sensuality  :  still,  in  the 
enthusiasm  which  animated  the  nations  for  an  object 
unintelligible  to  the  senses,  in  the  extraordinary  efforts 
for  an  extraordinary  end,  we  recognize  the  traces  of  man's 
illustrious  origin.  Lowest  in  the  scale  [of  excellence], 
and  false  in  the  greatest  degree  to  the  primitive  nobility 
of  man,  stands  he,  who,  in  the  coldness  of  intellect,  looks 
down  upon  those  times  in  a  spirit  of  affected  compassion, 
proceeding  not  from  the  overpowering  influence  of  genuine 
reality  on  the  mind,  but  from  the  circumstance  of  his 
assuming  that  only  to  be  real,  which  is,  in  truth,  the  very 
lowest  degree  of  seeming,  and  thus  regarding  as  a  delusion 
what  is  here  the  beautiful,  the  labouring  and  the  venturing 
for  an  object  which  exists,  and  is  of  value,  for  the  heart 
alone." 

The  success  of  his  preaching  on  this  occasion  had 
evidently  an  injurious  effect  upon  Bernard's  character : 
he  persuaded  others  as  well  as  himself  that  he  was  pos- 
sessed of  supernatural  powers,  and  his  great  reputation 


BERNARD.  015 

betrayed  him  into  the  weakness  of  displaying  himself  as 
a  prophet.  He  was  justly  rebuked  by  the  entire  failure 
of  the  expedition ;  a  melancholy  result,  which  spread 
dismay  among  the  nations  of  the  West.  The  disappointed 
nobles  reproached  him  as  a  false  and  incautious  prophet ; 
and  he  attributed  the  failure  to  the  vices  and  mismanage- 
ment of  the  princes  and  knights,  who  in  their  lives  proved 
themselves  to  be  unworthy  of  being  used  as  instruments 
of  God  s  service. 

But  before  the  disappointment  with  respect  to  the 
crusade  came  upon  Bernard,  we  find  him  actively  engaged 
in  suppressing  the  heresy  of  the  Petrobrusians,  of  whom 
it  is  necessary  to  give  a  short  account. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  12th  century  Pierre  de  Bruys 
made  his  appearance  in  the  south  of  France.  This  heretic 
was  a  man  of  decided  character,  determined  to  carry  out 
his  principles  to  their  legitimate  conclusions.  Like  some 
modern  heretics,  he  denied  that  regeneration  is  the  grace 
conferred  by  the  Holy  Ghost  through  the  Sacrament  of 
Baptism  ;  but  unlike  them,  having  embraced  an  heretical 
opinion,  he  discarded  the  traditional  practice  of  the 
Church,  and  rejected  infant  baptism,  If  infants  are  born 
in  original  sin  they  require  regeneration ;  and  if  baptism 
be  the  instrument  of  regeneration,  they  ought  to  be 
baptized.  But  if  baptism  is  not  the  instrument  of 
regeneration,  it  is  mere  superstition  to  administer  it  to 
infants  ;  unless  there  be,  which  there  is  not,  a  plain  com- 
mand in  Scripture  to  baptize  them.  Pierre  de  Bruys, 
like  a  heretic,  rejected  the  doctrine  of  baptismal  rege- 
neration ;  like  an  honest  man  he  shrunk  not  from  the 
consequence  of  his  heresy,  and  denounced  infant  bap- 
tism. Nor  were  his  errors  confined  to  this  question. 
Asserting  that  God  was  not  more  present  in  one  place 
than  another,  he  drew  the  conclusion  that  churches  in 
general  were  unnecessary,  and  that  all  churches  must 
therefore  be  pulled  down  ;  maintaining  that  God  "  taketh 
pleasure  in  the  pious  emotions  of  the  heart  alone,  he  drew 
the  conclusion  that  He  is  neither  to  be  invoked  by  loud 


316  BERNARD. 

sounding  voices,  or  conciliated  by  musical  melodies,  and 
that  therefore  "  God  is  only  mocked  by  church  chanting." 
In  his  contempt  for  external  religion  he  totally,  but  con- 
sistently, rejected  the  sacrament  of  the  blessed  Eucharist ; 
and,  denying  the  doctrine  of  a  purgatory,  he  denied  also 
the  existence  of  a  middle  state.  The  result  of  his  preach- 
ing was  that  his  followers  pulled  down  not  only  altars  but 
churches  also  ;  and  assembling  on  Good  Friday  brought 
together  all  the  crosses  they  could  find,  and  making  a 
bonfire,  cooked  flesh,  and  invited  all  to  eat.  They  scourged 
all  the  priests  upon  whom  they  could  lay  hands,  and  com- 
pelled the  monks,  in  spite  of  their  yows,  to  marry.  Con- 
sidering how  identified  in  this  age  were  the  laws  of  each 
country  with  the  canons  of  the  Church,  and  that  this  move- 
ment was  seditious  as  well  as  schismatical,  it  is  astonish- 
ing to  find  that  Pierre  de  Bruys  continued  to  preach  these 
doctrines  with  impunity  for  twenty  years.  He  was  at 
length  seized  by  an  infuriated  mob  and  conducted  to  the 
scaffold,  in  the  town  of  St  Giles,  in  Languedoc.  But  his 
principles  had  taken  root,  and  his  party  called  Petrobru- 
sians  continued  their  violence  under  a  leader  more  fana- 
tical than  himself,  Henri  by  name.  This  man,  who  was 
both  a  demagogue  and  a  fanatic,  was  mildly  dealt  with : 
nothing  could  have  been  more  tolerant  or  judicious  than 
the  treatment  he  received  from  Hildebert,  bishop  of  Mens, 
nothing  more  ungrateful  and  wicked  than  the  conduct  of 
Henri.  Against  the  pious  bishop  he  excited  the  populace, 
but  Hildebert  took  no  other  measure  against  him  than 
that  of  requiring  him  to  leave  his  diocese.  In  1134  the 
bishop  of  Aries  brought  him  before  a  council  at  Pisa, 
where  Henri  retracted  his  errors,  and  was  committed  to 
the  mild  custody  of  St  Bernard,  at  Clairvaux,  from  which 
he  made  his  escape  and  resumed  his  schismatical  pro- 
ceedings about  Toulouse  and  Albi.  His  influence  here, 
and  the  mischief  he  did,  is  described  by  St  Bernard,  and 
the  whole  district  must  have  been  in  a  state  of  civil 
as  well  as  ecclesiastical  disturbance.  At  length  pope 
Eugenius  perceived  the  necessity  of  stronger  measures, 


BERNARD.  317 

and  despatched  a  cardinal,  accompanied  by  other  bishops, 
to  suppress  the  sect.  The  cardinal  desiring  to  do  so  by 
moral  influence  rather  than  by  force  of  arms,  persuaded 
St  Bernard  to  accompany  him,  knowing  his  power  over 
the  minds  of  men.  He  had  concluded  rightly.  When 
the  cardinal  entered  Albi  he  was  met  by  every  species  of 
tumultuous  insult,  but  when  two  days  afterwards  St 
Bernard  made  his  appearance,  his  personal  dignity,  the 
meanness  of  his  apparel,  and  his  haggard  countenance, 
made  a  very  different  impression :  none  presumed  to 
treat  him  with  derision,  and  he  was  received  with  univer- 
sal reverence  and  rejoicing. 

At  Toulouse  such  was  the  effect  of  the  simple  eloquence 
of  Bernard  that,  when  at  the  conclusion  of  a  discourse 
which  had  been  listened  to  with  sobs  and  tears,  he  invited 
the  people  to  consider  their  ways  and  return  to  the  unity 
of  the  Church  ;  and  in  order  to  distinguish  the  penitents, 
desired  that  "those  who  received  the  word  of  salvation 
should  hold  up  their  right  hands,  in  token  of  their  adhe- 
rence to  the  catholic  Church,"  the  whole  congregation  did 
so  with  eager  alacrity. 

Henri  was  captured  shortly  after  and  brought  before  the 
pope  at  the  council  of  Rheims,  but  at  the  intercession  of 
the  archbishop  of  Rheims,  his  sentence  was  mitigated  to 
imprisonment  in  a  convent,  where  he  soon  after  died. 

The  concludiDg  years  of  St  Bernard's  life  were  devoted 
to  the  completion  of  his  most  important  work,  "The  Book 
of  Consideration,"  intended  to  remind  his  much  loved 
pupil,  Eugenius,  of  the  duties  devolving  upon  him  in  his 
high  station.  But  Eugenius  died  before  the  work  was 
completed.  And  St  Bernard,  after  again  becoming  a  bene- 
factor to  a  large  portion  of  his  fellow-men,  by  being  the 
mediator  between  the  people  of  Mentz  and  some  neigh- 
bouring princes,  whom  he  reconciled  with  his  usual  skill, 
returned  to  Clairvaux,  to  prepare  for  his  own  departure. 
A  short  time  before  his  death,  when  his  pains  had  ceased 
to  be  alleviated  by  sleep,  he  dictated  these  words  to  a 
2d  2 


318  BERNARD. 

friend:  "Pray  to  the  Saviour,  who  willeth  not  the  death 
of  a  sinner,  that  He  delay  not  my  departure,  and  yet  that 
He  will  be  pleased  to  guard  it.  Support  him  who  hath  no 
merits  of  his  own  by  your  prayers,  that  the  adversary  of 
our  salvation  may  not  find  any  place  open  to  his  attacks." 

Looking  round  upon  his  weeping  brethren  who  no  longer 
attempted  to  restrain  the  demonstration  of  their  grief,  the 
compassionate  and  tender  hearted  Bernard  exclaimed : 
"  I  am  in  a  strait  betwixt  two  pains,  a  desire  to  depart 
and  be  with  Christ  which  is  far  better ;  nevertheless,  the 
love  of  my  children  urgeth  me  to  remain  here  below." 
These  were  the  last  words  of  Bernard  of  Clairvaux.  His 
life  had  been  one  of  the  strictest  mortification,  and  it  was 
brought  to  a  close  in  the  year  1153,  at  the  age  of  sixty- 
three. 

The  character  of  this  illustrious  man  will  have  been 
seen  from  the  facts  narrated  above.  To  powerful  genius, 
and  perfect  confidence  in  himself,  by  which  he  was  led  to 
regard  himself  as  an  exception  to  ordinary  rules,  he  united 
a  singleness  of  purpose  and  disinterestedness  which  made 
him  all  powerful.  He  armed  the  warriors  of  the  crusade, 
but  when  they  offered  to  make  him  their  leader,  he  declined 
the  honour,  for  he  felt  that  under  such  a  leader  a  host  of 
warriors  was  not  likely  to  prevail.  He  had  at  his  option 
the  highest  honours  in  the  Church,  which  were  sometimes 
pressed  upon  him,  but  he  declined  them  all,  from  the 
feeling  that  as  a  poor  monk  he  could  better  promote  the 
cause  of  true  religion.  He  united  to  firmness  of  principle, 
and  severity  against  vice,  an  enthusiastic  appreciation  of 
virtue,  and  the  tenderness  of  a  little  child  towards  his 
friends.  He  acted  upon  principle,  but  his  feelings  were 
impulsive. 

In  one  of  his  letters  he  thus  unconsciously  draws  his 
own  portrait.  "  That  is  a  high  degree  of  virtue,  and  as 
rare  as  it  is  high,  that  does  great  things  without  perceiving 
its  own  greatness  ;  that  is  alone  unconscious  of  the  lustre 
of  that  holiness  which  dazzles  all  other  eyes ;   and  that, 


BERNARD.  319 

while  admired  by  the  whole  world,  looks  upon  itself  as 
vile,  and  only  deserving  of  contempt.  This  is  the  greatest 
of  all  virtues," — and  it  was  his  :  for  he  who  was  highest 
in  the  judgment  of  the  Christian  world  (so  that  "  all  affairs 
seemed  to  depend  on  his  precepts  and  example,  who  was 
consulted  as  an  oracle  by  high  and  low,  and  acknowledged 
as  an  arbiter  both  of  truces  and  of  peace ;  to  whose  prayers 
all  orders  of  men  desired  to  be  recommended,  since  he 
was  so  generally  admired  and  beloved,  that  he  had  the 
good  wishes  of  the  whole  world,  having  gained  more 
favour  in  his  humility  than  Solomon  in  all  his  glory  ;") 
ever  remained  the  lowest  in  his  own,  "  uniting  the  force 
of  a  master  with  the  docility  of  a  child." 

The  editions  of  his  works  are  numerous.  The  best 
edition  is  that  of  Mabillon,  printed  at  Paris  in  1690,  in 
two  volumes,  folio.  In  Dupin  may  be  found  a  particular 
account  of  his  letters,  440  in  number,  and  of  his  other 
works.  His  meditations  have  been  translated  by  Dean 
Stanhope.  His  sermons  have  been  the  delight  of  the 
faithful  in  all  ages.  "  They  are,"  says  Sixtus  of  Sienna, 
"  at  once  so  sweet  and  so  ardent  that  it  is  as  though  his 
mouth  were  a  fountain  of  honey,  and  his  heart  a  whole 
furnace  of  love."  The  doctrines  of  St  Bernard  differ  on 
some  material  points  from  that  of  the  modern  church  of 
Rome :  he  did  not  hold  those  refinements  and  perversions 
of  the  doctrine  of  justification  which  the  school  divinity 
afterwards  introduced,  and  the  reformers  denounced :  he 
rejected  the  notion  of  supererogatory  works :  he  did  not 
hold  the  modern  purgatorial  doctrines  of  the  church  of 
Rome ;  neither  did  he  admit  the  immaculate  conception 
of  the  Blessed  Virgin.  He  maintained  also  the  orthodox 
doctrine  of  the  Real  Presence,  as  distinguished  from  the 
Romish  doctrine  of  transubstantiation.  In  his  discourse 
on  the  Lord's  Supper,  he  joins  together  the  outward  form 
of  the  Sacrament,  and  the  spiritual  efficacy  of  it,  as  the 
shell  and  the  kernel,  the  sacred  sign,  and  the  thing  sig- 
nified; the  one  he  takes  out  of  the  words  of  the  InstitutioD, 
and  the  other,  out  of  Christ's    sermon  in   the  sixth  of 


3-20  BERNARD. 

St  John.  And  in  the  same  place  explaining,  that  Sacra- 
ments are  not  things  absolute  in  themselves  without  any 
relation,  but  mysteries,  wherein  by  the  gift  of  a  visible 
sign,  an  invisible  and  divine  grace  with  the  Body  and 
Blood  of  Christ  is  given,  he  saith,  "  that  the  visible  sign 
is  as  a  ring,  which  is  given  not  for  itself  or  absolutely,  but 
to  invest  and  give  possession  of  an  estate  made  over  to 

one." Now,  as  no   man  can  fancy  that   the   ring  is 

substantially  changed  into  the  inheritance,  whether  lands 
or  houses,  none  also  can  say  with  truth,  or  without 
absurdity,  that  the  bread  and  wine  are  substantially 
changed  into  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ.  But  in  his 
sermon  on  the  Purification,  he  speaks  yet  more  plainly  : 
"  The  body  of  Christ  in  the  Sacrament  is  the  food  of  the 
soul,  not  of  the  belly,  therefore  we  eat  Him  not  corpo- 
rally: but  in  the  manner  that  Christ  is  meat,  in  the 
same  manner  we  understand  that  He  is  eaten."  Also  in 
his  sermon  on  St  Martin,  "To  this  day,"  saith  he,  "the 
same  flesh  is  given  to  us,  but  spiritually,  therefore  not 
corporally."  For  the  truth  of  things  spiritually  present 
is  certain  also. 

Bishop  Cosin  remarks  that  Bellarmine  confesseth  with 
St  Bernard,  that  "  Christ  in  the  Sacrament  is  not  given 
to  us  carnally,  but  spiritually ;  and  would  to  God  he  had 
rested  here,  and  not  outgone  the  holy  Scriptures,  and  the 
doctrine  of  the  fathers.  For  endeavouring,  with  pope 
Innocent  III.  and  the  council  of  Trent,  to  determine  the 
manner  of  the  presence  and  manducation  of  Christ's 
Body,  with  more  nicety  than  was  fitting,  he  thereby  fool- 
ishly overthrew  all  that  he  had  wisely  said  before,  denied 
what  he  had  affirmed,  and  opposed  his  own  opinion.  His 
fear  was  lest  his  adversaries  should  apply  that  word  spiri- 
tually, not  so  much  to  express  the  manner  of  presence, 
as  to  exclude  the  very  substance  of  the  Body  and  Blood  of 
Christ;  "therefore,"  saith  he,  "upon  that  account  it  is 
not  safe  to  use  too  much  that  of  St  Bernard,  '  the  Body  of 
Christ  is  not  corporally  in  the  Sacrament,'  without  adding 
presently  the  above-mentioned  explanation."     How  much 


BERNARD.  321 

do  we  comply  with  human  pride,  and  curiosity,  which 
would  seem  to  understand  all  things !  Where  is  the 
danger  ?  And  what  does  he  fear,  as  long  as  all  they  that 
believe  the  Gospel,  own  the  true  nature,  and  the  real  and 
substantial  presence  of  the  Body  of  Christ  in  the  Sacra- 
ment, using  that  explication  of  St  Bernard,  concerning 
the  manner,  which  he  himself,  for  the  too  great  evidence 
of  truth,  durst  not  but  admit  ?  and  why  doth  he  own  that 
the  manner  is  spiritual,  not  carnal,  and  then  require  a 
carnal  presence,  as  to  the  manner  itself?  As  for  us,  we 
all  openly  profess  with  St  Bernard,  that  the  presence  of 
the  Body  of  Christ  in  the  Sacrament,  is  spiritual,  and 
therefore  true  and  real ;  and  with  the  same  Bernard,  and 
all  the  ancients,  we  deny  that  the  Body  of  Christ  is 
carnally  either  present  or  given.  The  thing  we  willingly 
admit,  but  humbly  and  religiously  forbear  to  enquire  into 
the  manner. 

"  We  believe  a  presence  and  union  of  Christ  with  our 
soul  and  body,  which  we  know  not  how  to  call  better  than 
sacramental,  that  is,  effected  by  eating ;  that  while  we  eat 
and  drink  the  consecrated  bread  and  wine,  we  eat  and 
drink  therewithal  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  not  in  a 
corporal  manner,  but  some  other  way,  incomprehensible, 
known  only  to  God,  which  we  call  spiritual ;  for  if  with 
St  Bernard  and  the  fathers  a  man  goes  no  further,  we 
do  not  find  fault  with  a  general  explication  of  the  manner, 
but  with  the  presumption  and  self-conceitedness  of  those 
who  boldly  and  curiously  inquire  what  is  a  spiritual  pre- 
sence, as  presuming  that  they  can  understand  the  manner 
of  acting  of  God's  Holy  Spirit.  We  contrariwise  confess 
with  the  fathers,  that  this  manner  of  presence  is  unac- 
countable, and  past  finding  out,  not  to  be  searched  and 
pried  into  by  reason,  but  believed  by  faith.  And  if  it 
seems  impossible  that  the  flesh  of  Christ  should  descend, 
and  come  to  be  our  food,  through  so  great  a  distance  ;  we 
must  remember  how  much  the  power  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
exceeds  our  sense  and  our  apprehensions,  and  how  absurd 
it  would  be  to  undertake  to  measure  His  immensity  by 


322  BERNARD. 

our  weakness  and  narrow  capacity ;  and  so  make  our  faith 
to  conceive  and  believe  what  our  reason  cannot  compre- 
hend. 

"  Yet  our  faith  doth  not  cause  or  make  that  presence, 
but  apprehends  it  as  most  truly  and  really  effected  by  the 
word  of  Christ :  and  the  faith  whereby  we  are  said  to  eat 
the  flesh  of  Christ,  is  not  that  only  whereby  we  believe 
that  He  died  for  our  sins,  (for  this  faith  is  required  and 
supposed  to  precede  the  Sacramental  Manducation,)  but 
more  properly,  that  whereby  we  believe  those  words  of 
Christ,  This  is  My  Body;  which  was  St  Austin's  meaning 
when  he  said,  "  Why  dost  thou  prepare  thy  stomach  and 
thy  teeth  ?  Believe  and  thou  hast  eaten."  For  in  this 
mystical  eating  by  the  wonderful  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
we  do  invisibly  receive  the  substance  of  Christ's  Body 
and  Blood,  as  much  as  if  we  should  eat  and  drink  both 
visibly. 

"  The  result  of  all  this  is,  that  the  Body  and  Blood  of 
Christ  are  sacramentally  united  to  the  bread  and  wine,  so 
that  Christ  is  truly  given  to  the  faithful ;  and  yet  is  not 
to  be  here  considered  with  sense  or  worldly  reason,  but  by 
faith,  resting  on  the  words  of  the  Gospel.  Now  it  is  said, 
that  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ  are  joined  to  the  bread 
and  wine,  because,  that  in  the  celebration  of  the  Holy 
Eucharist,  the  flesh  is  given  together  with  the  bread,  and 
the  blood  together  with  the  wine.  All  that  remains  is, 
that  we  should  with  faith  and  humility  admire  this  high 
and  sacred  mystery,  which  our  tongue  cannot  sufficiently 
explain,  nor  our  heart  conceive." 

The  materials  for  this  life  have  been  chiefly  drawn 
from  Neander's  Life  and  Times  of  St  Bernard.  The  ra- 
tionalism and  liberalism  of  Neander  have  been  corrected 
in  the  few  but  very  judicious  notes  of  the  accomplished 
translator,  Matilda  Wrench.  The  most  ancient  biography 
of  St  Bernard  is  in  five  books,  and  is  to  be  found  in  the 
second  volume  of  Mabillon.  Use  has  also  been  made 
of  Maitland's  Dark  Ages.  Cosin  on  Transubstantiation. 
Mosheim, 


BERNARD.  323 

Bernard,  of  Menthon,  was  born  at  Annecy,  in  Savoy, 
in  923.  As  archdeacon  of  Piedmont  he  was  employed 
successfully  in  the  conversion  of  the  pagan  inhabitants  of 
the  neighbouring  mountains,  and  replaced  their  temple  of 
Jupiter  on  Mont-joux  by  a  conventual  establishment,  of 
which  the  inmates  are  employed  in  assisting  the  traveller 
when  in  danger,  and  in  rendering  hospitality  to  pilgrims 
crossing  the  Alps  on  their  way  to  Rome.  He  placed 
another  such  establishment  near  the  Colonnade  of  Jupi- 
ter, so  called  from  a  series  of  upright  stones  placed  on 
the  snow  to  point  out  a  safe  track.  These  two  religious 
establishments  still  remain  among  the  most  inhospitable 
passages  of  the  Alps,  and  are  known  as  the  Great  and 
Little  St  Bernard.  The  monastery  on  Great  St  Bernard 
is  probably  the  highest  habitation  in  Europe;  and  in 
both  the  monasteries  the  self-devoted  monks  train  their 
dogs  to  trace  out  the  weary  and  perishing  traveller,  to 
whom  they  extend  all  the  hospitable  attention  his  case 
may  require.  Bernard,  having  effected  this  great  work, 
and  having  established  a  claim  upon  the  gratitude  of  pos- 
terity, resumed  his  missionary  labours  until  his  death, 
which  occurred  at  No  vara,  in  the  Milanese,  on  the  28th  of 
May,  1008. — Moreri.    Biog.  Univ. 

Bernard,  Andrew,  was  bom  at  Toulouse,  and  became 
an  Augustine  monk.  He  is  chiefly  distinguished  for 
having  been  poet  laureat  to  Henry  VII  and  Heniy  VIII, 
kings  of  England,  with  a  salary  of  ten  marks,  until  he 
could  obtain  some  equivalent  appointment.  He  is  also 
supposed  to  have  been  the  royal  historiographer  and  pre- 
ceptor in  grammar  to  prince  Arthur.  He  wrote  several 
poems  interesting  chiefly  to  the  antiquarian,  which  are  to 
be  found  in  manuscript  in  some  of  the  public  libraries. — 
Wartons  Hist,  of  Poetry. 

Bernard,  Claude,  called  Father  Bernard,  or  the  poor 
priest,  was  born  at  Dijon,  in  1588.  After  a  youth  of  dis- 
sipation he  grew  disgusted  with  the  world,   and  devoted 


324  BERNARD. 

himself  wholly  to  relieving  and  comforting  the  poor.  He 
assisted  them  by  his  charities  and  exhortations  to  the  end 
of  his  days,  with  incredible  fervour,  stooping  and  humbling 
himself  to  do  the  meanest  offices  for  them.  Father  Ber- 
nard having  persisted  in  refusing  all  the  benefices  offered 
him  by  the  court,  cardinal  Richelieu  told  him  one  day, 
that  he  absolutely  insisted  on  his  asking  him  for  some- 
thing, and  left  him  alone  to  consider  of  it.  When  the 
cardinal  returned  half  an  hour  after,  Bernard  said, 
"  Monseigneur,  after  much  study,  I  have  at  last  found 
out  a  favour  to  ask  of  you  :  when  I  attend  any  sufferers 
to  the  gibbet  to  assist  them  in  their  last  moments,  we  are 
carried  in  a  cart  with  so  bad  a  bottom,  that  we  are  every 
moment  in  danger  of  falling  to  the  ground.  Be  pleased, 
therefore,  Monseigneur,  to  order  that  some  better  boards 
may  be  put  to  the  cart."  Cardinal  Richelieu  laughed 
heartily  at  this  request,  and  gave  orders  directly  that  the 
cart  should  be  thoroughly  repaired.  Father  Bernard  was 
ever  ready  to  assist  the  unhappy  by  his  good  offices,  for 
which  purpose  he  one  day  presented  a  petition  to  a  noble- 
man in  place,  who  being  of  a  very  hasty  temper,  flew  into 
a  violent  passion,  and  said  a  thousand  injurious  things  of 
the  person  for  whom  the  priest  interested  himself,  but 
Bernard  still  persisted  in  his  request;  at  which  the 
nobleman  was  at  last  so  irritated,  that  he  gave  him  a  box 
on  the  ear.  Bernard  immediately  fell  at  his  feet,  and, 
presenting  the  other  ear,  said,  "  Give  me  a  good  blow  on 
this  also,  my  lord,  and  grant  my  petition."  The  nobleman 
was  so  affected  by  this  apparent  humility  as  to  grant 
Bernard's  request.  He  died  March  23,  1641.  The 
French  clergy  had  such  a  veneration  for  him  as  often  to 
solicit  that  he  might  be  enrolled  in  the  calendar  of  saints. 
In  1638  he  founded  the  school  of  the  Thirty-three,  so 
called  from  the  number  of  years  our  Saviour  passed  on 
earth,  and  a  very  excellent  seminary.  Immediately  after 
his  death  appeared  "  Le  Testament  du  reverend  pere 
Bernard,  et  ses  pensees  pieuses,"  Paris,  1641,  8vo,  and 
♦'  Le  Recit  des  choses  arrivees  a  la  mort  du  rev.  pere 


BERNARD.  325 

Bernard,"  same  year.  The  abbe  Papillon  also  quotes  a 
work  entitled,  "  Entretiens  pendant  sa  demiere  maladie." 
His  life  was  written  by  several  authors,  by  Legauffre, 
Giry,  de  la  Serre,  Gerson,  and  Lampereur  the  Jesuit. 
This  last,  which  was  published  at  Paris,  1708,  12mo,  is 
too  full  of  visions,  revelations,  and  miracles,  to  afford  any 
just  idea  of  Bernard. — Lavocat.  Biog.  Univ. 

Bernard,  Edward,  was  born  in  1638,  at  Paulerspury, 
in  Northamptonshire.  From  Merchant-Taylor's  school,  he 
went  to  St  John's  college,  Oxford,  of  which  society  he 
became  fellow,  and  proceeded  B.D.  in  1668.  The  same 
year  he  went  to  Leyden  to  consult  the  oriental  manu- 
scripts in  that  university,  particularly  one  of  Apollonius 
Pergaeus  on  conic  sections,  which  he  transcribed  with  a 
view  to  publication,  though  the  design  was  prevented.  It 
was,  however,  printed  by  Dr  Halley.  In  1669  he  was 
appointed  deputy  to  sir  Christopher  Wren  in  the  Savilian 
professorship  of  astronomy,  and  in  1673  he  succeeded 
that  great  man  on  his  resignation  of  the  chair.  About 
this  time  a  plan  was  formed  for  publishing  all  the  ancient 
mathematicians,  and  Id  Bernard  being  selected  for  the 
work,  printed  a  part  of  Euclid  as  a  specimen,  but  this 
design  fell  to  the  ground.  He  was  equally  unfortunate  in 
his  undertaking  of  a  new  edition  of  Josephus,  but  his 
collections  for  this  purpose  were  made  a  proper  use  of  by 
Havercamp.  In  1676  he  went  to  France  as  tutor  to  the 
dukes  of  Grafton  and  Northumberland,  and  in  1683  he 
visited  Leyden  again,  to  be  present  at  the  sale  of  Nicholas 
Heinsius's  library.  The  year  following  he  took  his  doc- 
tor's degree,  and  in  1691,  on  being  presented  to  the 
rectory  of  Brightwell,  in  Berkshire,  resigned  his  professor- 
ship. In  169*2  he  was  employed  in  drawing  up  a  cata- 
logue of  the  MSS  in  Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  which 
was  printed  at  Oxford  in  1697,  folio.  Towards  the  close 
of  his  life  he  was  much  afflicted  with  the  stone,  notwith- 
standing which,  such  was  his  thirst  for  knowledge,  that 

VOL.  H.  2  E 


326  BERNARD. 

he  took  a  third  voyage  to  Holland  to  attend  the  sale  of 
Golius's  library.  Soon  after  his  retnrn  he  fell  into  a  con- 
sumption, and  died  in  1696.  His  remains  were  interred 
in  the  chapel  of  St  John's  college,  where  his  widow,  to 
whom  he  had  been  married  four  years,  erected  a  monu- 
ment to  his  memory.  Besides  some  papers  in  the  Philo- 
sophical Transactions,  he  published — 1.  A  Treatise  of  the 
ancient  Weights  and  Measures,  printed  first  in  English, 
and  afterwards  in  Latin,  at  Oxford.  2.  Private  Devo- 
tions, with  an  Explication  of  the  Commandments,  12mo. 
3.  Orbis  eruditi  Literatura  a  charactere  Samaritico  deducta ; 
a  folio  sheet,  in  copper  plate.  4.  Etymologia  Britannica, 
4to.  5.  An  edition  of  Guise's  "  Misuse  pars  prima,"  4to, 
6.  Chronologiae  Samaritanas  Synopsis.  7.  Annotationes 
in  Epistolam  S.  Barnabse,  8vo.  8.  Short  Notes  upon 
Cotelerius's  edition  of  the  Fathers.  9.  Veterum  Testi- 
monia  de  Versione,  lxxii.  Interpretum,  8vo.  His  library 
was  sold  by  auction  after  his  death,  except  a  portion  pur- 
chased for  the  Bodleian  collection. — Biog.  Brit. 

Bernard,  James,  was  bom  at  Nions,  in  Dauphine  in 
1658,  and  was  educated  at  Geneva.  At  the  age  of  twenty- 
one  he  was  chosen  minister  of  Venterol,  in  Dauphine,  from 
whence  he  removed  to  Vinsobres  in  the  same  province ; 
but  having  preached  in  places  interdicted  by  the  king,  he 
retired  to  Geneva,  next  to  Lausanne,  and  afterwards  to 
Holland,  where  he  was  appointed  one  of  the  ministers  of 
Ganda.  He  obtained  leave,  however,  to  fix  his  residence 
at  the  Hague,  where  he  taught  mathematics  and  philo- 
sophy, and  commenced  a  political  journal  on  the  state  of 
Europe.  In  1692  he  began  his  "  Lettres  Historiques," 
upon  the  same  plan ;  and  he  also  continued  the  Biblio- 
theque  Universelle  of  his  friend  and  relation,  Le  Clerc.  In 
1669  he  published  Actes  et  Negociations  de  la  Paix  de 
Rvsw'ic,"  4  vols.  12mo.  The  next  year  appeared  a  general 
collection  of  Treaties  of  Peace,  in  4  vols,  folio,  but  he  did 
not  put  his  name  to  either  of  these  works.     He  avowed, 


BERNARD.  327 

However,  his  continuation  of  Bayle's  "  Xouvelles  de  la 
Republique  des  Lettres,"  which  he  began  in  1698,  and 
carried  on  to  the  year  1710.  The  reputation  which  he 
had  acquired  induced  the  Walloon  church  of  Leyden  to 
elect  him  for  their  minister,  but  the  appointment  was  lost 
by  the  interference  of  king  William,  who  disliked  his 
republican  politics.  On  the  death  of  that  monarch  he 
succeeded  in  obtaining  the  appointment,  and  was  also 
chosen  professor  of  philosophy  and  mathematics  in  that 
university.  In  1716  he  published  a  supplement  to 
Moreri's  dictionary.  He  died  in  1718.  Besides  the 
above  works  he  published — 1.  Le  Theatre  des  etats  du 
due  de  Savoie,  traduit  du  Latin  de  Bleau,  2  vols,  folio. 
2.  Traite  de  la  Repentance  tardive,  12ino.  3.  De 
l'excellence  de  la  religion  Chretienne,  2  vols.  8vo.  A 
translation  of  this  work  into  English  was  published  in 
1793,  8vo,  with  the  life  of  the  author,  and  notes. — Moreri 

Beenakd,  Nicholas.  The  place  and  time  of  his  birth  is 
not  stated,  but  he  was  educated  at  Cambridge,  where  he 
took  his  M.A.  degree.  He  was  matriculated  at  Oxford,  in 
1628,  and  being  chaplain  to  archbishop  Usher,  obtained 
a  doctor's  degree  at  Trinity  college,  Dublin.  Through  the 
archbishop's  interest  he  was  made  dean  of  Ardagh.  In 
1642  he  returned  to  England,  and  was  presented  to  the 
rectory  of  Whitchurch,  in  Shropshire.  Having  complied 
with  the  ruling  powers,  and  become  an  apostate  from  his 
religion,  he  was  made  chaplain  to  Cromwell,  and  preacher  to 
the  society  of  Gray's  Inn.  On  the  restoration  of  Charles  II, 
his  easy  religion  enabled  him  to  conform,  and  to  retain 
his  rich  living.  Having  no  inclination  to  run  the  risk  of 
martyrdom,  he  did  not  return  to  his  deanery  in  Ireland  : 
Whitchurch  was  indeed  the  more  lucrative  appointment. 
He  died  in  1661.  His  works  are — 1.  The  penitent  Death 
of  a  woeful  Sinner,  or  the  penitent  Death  of  John  Atherton, 
bishop  of  Waterford,  with  a  sermon  on  the  same,  8vo. 
2.  Proceedings  of  the  Siege  of  Drogheda,  4to.  3.  A  Dia- 
logue  between  Paul  and  Agrippa,   4to.     4.  A  Farewell 


328  BERNARD. 

Sermon  preached  at  Drogheda,  8vo.  5.  The  Life  ancl 
Death  of  archbishop  Usher,  8vo.  6.  The  judgment  of  the 
late  archbishop  of  Armagh,  on  the  extent  of  Christ's  Death ; 
secondly,  of  the  Sabbath,  &c.  8vo.  7.  A  Defence  of  this 
last  work  against  Dr  Heylin.  8.  Devotions  of  the  ancient 
Church,  8vo.  9.  Clavi  Trabales,  or  nails  fastened  by  some 
great  masters  of  assemblies,  on  the  King's  Supremacy,  &c. 
4to. — Biog.  Brit. 

Bernard,  John,  was  born  at  Caistor,  in  Lincolnshire. 
He  was  educated  at  Queen's  college,  Cambridge,  but 
removed  soon  afterwards  to  Oxford,  where,  by  the  parlia- 
mentary visitors,  he  was  made  fellow  of  Lincoln  college 
in  1648.  He  married  Letice,  daughter  of  the  celebrated 
Peter  Heylin,  but  his  connection  with  that  loyal  and  reli- 
gious family  did  not  lead  him  to  change  his  principles 
while  the  rebels  were  in  power.  His  "  Censura  Cleri,  or 
Against  scandalous  Ministers,  not  fit  to  be  restored  to  the 
churches  livings  in  point  of  Prudence,  Piety,  and  Fame," 
was  published  in  1659,  and  was  aimed  as  a  blow  against 
those  unfortunate  incumbents  who,  in  1654,  had  been 
ejected  from  their  livings  by  Cromwell's  triers.  Bernard 
had  valuable  preferment  in  Lincolnshire,  which  he  retained 
at  the  restoration  by  conforming.  He  obtained  also  a 
prebend  in  Lincoln  cathedral.  He  died  in  1683.  He 
published  two  works  in  vindication  of  Peter  Heylin,  his 
father-in-law.  The  first  of  these  is  entitled,  Theologo- 
Historicus  ;  or  the  true  Life  of  the  most  Rev  Divine,  and 
excellent  Historian,  Peter  Heylin,  D.D.,  Sub-Dean  of 
Westminster,  Lond.  1683,  8vo.  It  is  professedly  an 
answer  to  a  life,  treated  as  defective  and  calumnious,  of 
that  eminent  man,  by  Vernon.  Bernard's  other  vindi- 
cation is  printed  with  this,  and  is  entitled,  An  Answer  to 
Mr  Baxter's  false  accusations  of  Dr  Heylin. — Wood's 
AthencB. 

Bernardin   of   Siena,    so   called  because   his   family, 
named  Albizeschi,  came  from  that  city,  was  bom  at  Massa 


BERNARDIX. 

Carrara,  where  his  father  was  then  chief  magistrate, 
September  8,  1380.  Having  lost  his  mother  when  he  was 
three,  and  his  father  when  he  was  seven  years  old,  he  was 
educated  by  one  of  his  aunts  till  he  was  thirteen  years  of 
age,  and  then  his  relatives  sent  for  him  to  Siena,  where  he 
studied  grammar  under  Onuphrius,  and  philosophy  under 
John  of  Spoletta.  Some  time  after  he  entered  into  the 
confraternity  of  the  disciplinators  of  the  hospital  of  the 
Scala  in  Siena ;  there  he  assisted  with  much  fervour  and 
zeal  those  who  were  infected  with  the  plague,  and  practised 
great  austerities.  In  the  year  1405,  he  made  profession  of 
the  rule  of  St  Francis,  in  the  monastery  of  the  Observan- 
tines  of  Columbarius,  which  was  near  to  Siena.  Being 
ordained  priest,  he  addicted  himself  to  preaching,  and 
founded  in  Italy  many  new  monasteries  of  the  Observan- 
tines,  and  reformed  those  that  were  ancient.  He  was  after- 
wards sent  to  Jerusalem,  and  made  guardian  of  the  Holy 
Land ;  and  having  returned  from  thence,  he  continued 
to  preach  in  Italy ;  and  to  stir  up  the  devotion  of  the 
people  towards  our  Lord,  he  had  a  custom  of  shewing  the 
name  of  Jesus,  painted  iu  a  circle  surrounded  with  the 
sun,  and  made  a  great  many  such  pictures,  which  sold 
very  well.  His  enemies  accused  him  of  affirming  in  his 
sermons  many  false  things,  and  delated  him  to  pope 
Martin  the  fifth,  who  cited  him  to  appear  before  himself, 
and  caused  his  works  to  be  examined :  but  finding  no- 
thing in  them  worthy  of  condemnation,  the  pope  having 
heard  his  defence,  absolved  him,  and  sent  him  back, 
with  permission  to  continue  his  preaching.  The  cities  of 
Siena,  Ferrara,  and  Urbin,  desired  pope  Eugenius  the  IVth 
to  make  him  their  bishop,  but  he  refused  the  bishopric, 
not withstau ding  the  importunity  of  this  pope  in  urging 
it  upon  him  :  he  would  only  accept  of  the  title  of  vicar- 
general  of  the  friars  of  the  Observantines  for  all  Italy:  and 
there  he  reformed  or  founded  anew  nearly  three  hundred 
monasteries.  He  died,  at  last,  in  the  citv  of  Aquila.  in 
■)  e2 


330  BERRIMAN. 

Abruzzo,    May  the   20th,  1444.      He  was  canonized  by 
Nicolas  V,  in  1450. 

His  works  have  been  printed  at  Venice,  in  1591,  by 
the  care  of  Rodulphus,  bishop  of  Sinigaglia ;  and  at  Paris, 
in  1636,  by  the  care  of  Peter  de  la  Haye,  in  two  volumes 
in  folio. — Dupin. 

Berriman,  William,  was  born  September  24th,  1688, 
and  was  the  son  of  Mr  John  Berriman,  apothecary,  in 
Bishopsgate-street,  and  the  grandson  of  the  Rev  Mr  Berri- 
man, rector  of  Bedington,  in  Surry.  He  had  his  primary 
education  at  Banbury,  in  Oxfordshire,  and  at  Merchant- 
Taylor's  school.  At  seventeen  years  of  age  he  was  entered 
as  a  commoner  at  Oriel  college,  in  Oxford,  where  he  took 
his  several  degrees,  when  of  proper  standing.  He  was 
curate  and  lecturer  of  Allhallows,  in  Thames-street,  and 
lecturer  of  St  Michael's,  Queenhithe.  He  was  appointed 
domestic  chaplain  to  Dr  Robinson,  bishop  of  London,  in 
1720,  and  was  soon  after  collated  by  him  to  the  living  of 
St  Andrews,  Undershaft. 

In  the  year  1727  he  was  elected  fellow  of  Eton  college, 
by  the  interest  of  Dr  Godolphin,  the  provost,  without  any 
solicitation.  Here  he  chiefly  resided  in  the  summer,  and 
in  his  parsonage  house  in  the  winter,  where  he  died 
February  5th,  1749-50,  in  the  sixty-second  year  of  his 
age ;  leaving  behind  him  a  high  character  for  learning, 
practical  good  sense,  integrity,  and  strict  regard  for  his 
professional  obligations  of  every  kind. 

His  writings  are,  a  seasonable  Review  of  Mr  Whilon's 
Account  of  primitive  Doxologies,  printed  in  the  year  1719. 
An  historical  account  of  the  Trinitarian  Controversy,  in 
eight  sermons  at  lady  Movers  lecture,  1715.  A  defence 
of  some  passages  in  the  historical  account,  1731.  Brief 
Remarks  on  Mr  Chandler's  Introduction  to  the  History  of 
the  Inquisition,  1733.  A  Review  of  the  Remarks.  Ser- 
mons at  Boyle's  lectures,  in  2  vols,  8vo,  1733. 

Besides  these  he  published  many  occasional  sermons  in 


BERTRAM.  331 

his  life  time,  and  after  his  death  several  others  were 
published  by  his  brother  John  Berriman,  M.A.  from  his 
original  MSS,  under  the  title  of  Christian  Doctrines  and 
Duties  explained  and  recommended. — Gen.  Biog.  Diet. 

Bertram,  The  Priest.  This  is  the  ordinary  designa- 
tion of  an  author  who  took  a  distinguished  part  in  the 
controversy  concerning  the  Eucharist  in  the  ninth  cen- 
tury, when  the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation  was  first  in- 
troduced into  the  Church.  His  proper  name  was  Ratramn, 
which  seems  to  have  been  converted  into  Bertram  by  the 
affix  of  BE,  the  first  syllable  of  Beatus,  frequently  placed 
before  names  of  persons  esteemed  for  their  piety  and 
learning.  Be-Ratram,  by  the  carelessness  of  transcribers, 
came  in  process  of  time  to  be  written  Bertram. 

He  was  in  all  probability  a  native  of  France,  and  of  the 
province  of  Picardy,  where  he  became  a  monk  in  the  early 
part  of  the  ninth  century.  He  was  educated  in  the  Bene- 
dictine monastery  of  Corbey,  in  the  diocese  of  Amiens. 
In  this  cloister  he  became  a  proficient  in  the  study  of 
divinity,  and,  like  most  divines  of  the  age,  was  deeply  read 
in  the  Scriptures.  He  was  here  ordained  priest,  and 
after  the  death  of  Baro  he  was,  as  is  generally  supposed, 
promoted  to  the  government  of  the  monastery  of  Orbais, 
in  the  diocese  of  Soissons,  by  Charles  the  Bald. 

That  he  was  in  great  esteem  in  his  own  age  is  evident 
from  the  fact  that  he  was  consulted  by  Charles  the  Bald 
upon  points  of  such  moment  as  the  predestination  con- 
troversy, and  the  controversy  relating  to  Christ's  pre- 
sence in  the  Holy  Sacrament  of  the  Altar.  The  first 
of  his  writings  extant  is  that  of  the  Manner  of  Christ's 
Birth,  which  was  written  before  844.  His  two  Books 
on  Predestination  were  written,  as  the  president  Mauguin 
conjectures,  in  850.  In  853  he  wrote  a  book  to  justify 
the  use  of  an  old  hymn,  which  Hincmar  of  Rheims 
had  commanded  to  be  altered,  directing  that  instead 
of  Te,  Trina  Deitas,  should  be  used  the  words,  Te, 
Summa  Deitas,  imagining  the  former  expression  to  make 


332  BERTRAM. 

three  Gods  :  Ratramn  asserted  the  expression  to  be  ortho- 
dox by  the  authority  of  St  Hilary  and  St  Augustine. 
This  work  is  lost.  He  also  wrote  a  book,  de  Anima, 
at  the  instance  of  Odo,  sometime  abbot  of  Corbey  and 
bishop  of  Beauvais,  against  a  monk  of  the  same  convent, 
who  taught  that  all  men  had  but  one  and  the  same  soul. 
This  book  is  extant  in  manuscript  in  the  library  of 
Bennet  college,  Cambridge,  in  that  of  Salisbury  cathedral, 
and  in  that  of  St  Eligius,  at  Noyon,  in  France,  but  not 
printed. 

About  the  year  868,  pope  Nicolas  I,  having  desired 
Hincmar  and  the  French  bishops  to  consider  and  answer 
the  objections  of  the  Greeks  against  the  Latin  church 
and  Hincmar,  having  emplo}Ted  Odo,  bishop  of  Beauvais, 
therein,  it  is  probable  he  recommended  Ratramn  to  the 
bishops,  as  a  man  fit  to  undertake  such  a  work,  and 
accordingly  he  wrote  four  books  on  that  occasion,  published 
by  Dacherius. 

There  is  also  among  the  MSS  in  the  Leipsic  library,  an 
epistle  concerning  the  Cynocephali,  whether  they  be  truly 
men  and  of  Adam's  seed,  or  brute  creatures?  What 
moved  him  to  discuss  this  question,  or  how  he  hath 
determined  it,  is  not  known.  The  epistle  is  directed  to 
one  Rimbert,  a  presbyter,  the  same,  probably,  who  suc- 
ceeded Anscharius  in  the  see  of  Breme,  and  wrote  his 
life. 

His  great  work,  De  Corpore  et  Sanguine  Domini, 
concerning  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord,  was 
most  probably  written  in  the  year  850.  As  this  work 
excited  extraordinary  attention  about  the  time  of  the 
reformation,  the  reader  shall  be  supplied  with  extracts 
from  it.  It  is  one  of  those  works  which  proves,  to  the 
infinite  perplexity  of  the  papists,  that  the  doctrine  of 
tran substantiation  was  a  novelty  in  the  ninth  century,  and 
that  it  was  not  introduced  into  the  Church  without  the 
opposition  of  the  more  orthodox  divines. 

The  mode  of  the  real  presence  in  the  Sacrament  of  the 
Lord's  Supper,  is  left  undefined  in  Holy  Scripture.     It  is 


BERTEAM.  333 

a  subject  od  which  there  is  a  natural  desire,  however, 
that  something  positive  should  be  asserted.  What  are 
we  precisely  to  believe  on  this  point  ?  is  a  question  which 
will  occur  to  the  mind.  The  Scriptures  give  no  clear 
answer,  the  primitive  church  gives  no  clear  answer,  the 
church  of  England  gives  no  clear  answer.  All  that  is 
declared  is,  that  "  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ  are 
verily  and  indeed  taken  and  received  by  the  faithful  in 
the  Lord's  Supper."  The  mode  of  the  presence  is  not 
stated.  Before  the  ninth  century  attempts  had  been 
made  to  define  the  mode  of  this  mystery.  But  Charle- 
magne having,  in  an  epistle  to  Alcuin,  expressed  his  belief 
that  the  sacramental  elements  are  figures  of  Christ's  Body 
and  Blood,  the  question,  though  stated,  was  not  agitated 
among  polemics  while  he  swayed  the  sceptre.  The  church 
of  England,  it  is  well  known,  believed  in  the  spiritual 
presence  only,  at  the  distance  of  more  than  two  centuries 
from  the  death  of  Charlemagne.  In  the  earlier  part  of 
the  ninth  century,  however,  inquisitive  minds  on  the 
continent  were  fixed  upon  this  subject,  in  consequence  of 
a  work  offered  to  the  world  by  Paschasius  Radbert,  abbot 
of  Corbey.  In  this  he  asserted  that  the  Lord's  Body, 
received  in  the  eucharistic  sacrifice,  is  the  same  Body 
that  was  born  of  the  Virgin ;  although  even  he  did  not 
proceed  to  the  length  of  asserting  that  the  elements  were 
transubstantiated,  but  rather  taught  that  they  were  united 
with  the  Incarnate  Deity.  His  doctrine  was  no  sooner 
published,  than  it  met  with  violent  opposition.  Charles 
the  Bald,  anxious  to  form  a  sound  opinion  upon  the  con- 
troversy which  Radbert  had  excited,  applied,  as  we  have 
before  stated,  to  Ratramn :  and  from  his  most  valuable 
treatise  we  learn,  not  only  that  the  doctrine  of  transub- 
stantiation  was  not  then  established,  but  also  that  then, 
as  now,  in  the  church  of  England,  there  existed  no  doctrine 
as  to  the  mode  of  Christ's  presence  in  the  Holy  Sacrament: 
"while  some  of  the  faithful,"  observes  Ratramn,  "say 
concerning  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  which  is  daily 
celebrated  in  the  Church,  that  there  is  no  veil  nor  figure, 


334  BERTRAM. 

but  that  the  very  thing  itself  is  openly  and  really  exhibited; 
and  others  of  them  affirm,  that  these  things,  (viz.  the  Body 
and  Blood  of  Christ,)  are  present  in  a  mystery  or  figure  ; 
that  it  is  one  thing  that  appears  to  our  bodily  eyes,  and 
another  thing  that  our  faith  beholds ;  it  is  plain,  there 
is  no  small  difference  in  judgment  among  them  :  and 
whereas  the  Apostle  writes  to  the  faithful,  that  they 
should  all  think  and  speak  the  same  thing,  and  that  there 
should  be  no  schism  among  them ;  there  is  no  small 
division  and  schism  among  those  who  believe  and  speak 
differently  concerning  the  mystery  of  the  Body  and  Blood 
of  Christ. 

In  noticing  the  doctrine  he  first  defines  what  a  Figure 
is,  and  what  the  Truth. 

"  A  figure  is  a  certain  covert  manner  of  expression, 
which  exhibits  what  it  intends  under  certain  veils.  For 
example ;  we  call  the  woed  bread,  as  in  the  Lords  Prayer, 
we  beg  that  God  would  give  us  our  daily  bread  :  or  as 
Christ  in  the  gospel  speaks,  I  am  the  living  bread  that 
came  down  from  heaven.  Or  when  he  calls  Himself  a 
vine,  and  His  disciples  branches,  I  am  the  true  vine,  and 
ye  are  the  branches.  In  all  these  instances,  one  thing  is 
said  and  another  thing  is  understood. 

"  The  truth  is  the  representation  of  the  very  thing  itself, 
not  veiled  with  any  shadow  or  figure,  but  expressed  accord- 
ing to  the  pure  and  naked  (or  to  speak  more  plainly  yet) 
natural  signification  of  the  words.  As  when  we  say  that 
Christ  was  born  of  a  Virgin,  suffered,  was  crucified,  dead 
and  buried  :  here  is  nothing  shadowed  out  under  the 
coverture  of  figures,  but  the  very  truth  of  the  thing  is  ex- 
pressed, according  to  the  natural  signification  of  the  words ; 
nor  is  any  thing  here  understood  but  what  is  said.  But 
in  the  fore- mentioned  instances  it  is  not  so.  For  in  sub- 
stance, neither  is  Christ  bread,  or  a  vine,  nor  the  apostles 
branches.  These  are  figures,  but  in  the  other  the  plain 
and  naked  truth  is  related. 

"  Now  let  us  return  to  the  subject  which  hath  occasion- 
ed the  saying  of  all  this,  viz.  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ. 


BERTRAM.  335 

If  there  be  no  figure  in  that  mystery,  it  is  not  properly 
called  a  mystery ;  for  that  cannot  be  said  to  be  a  mystery, 
which  hath  nothing  secret,  nothing  remote  from  our  bodily 
senses,  nothing  covered  under  any  veil.  But  as  for  that 
bread,  which  by  the  ministry  of  the  priest,  is  made  Christ's 
body,  it  sheweth  one  thing  outwardly  to  our  senses,  and 
inwardly  proclaims  quite  another  thing  to  the  minds  of 
the  faithful.  That  which  outwardly  appears  is  bread,  as 
it  was  before  in  form,  colour,  and  taste :  but  inwardly  there 
is  quite  another  thing  presented  to  us,  and  that  much 
more  precious  and  excellent,  because  it  is  heavenly  and 
divine  :  that  is,  Christ's  Body  is  exhibited  which  is  beheld, 
received,  and  eaten,  not  by  our  carnal  senses,  but  by  the 
sight  of  the  believing  soul. 

"  Likewise  the  wine,  which  by  the  priest's  consecration, 
is  made  the  Sacrament  of  Christ's  Blood,  appears  one 
thing  outwardly,  and  inwardly  contains  aD  other :  for  what 
doth  outwardly  appear  but  the  substance  of  wine  ?  Taste 
it,  there  is  the  relish  of  wine  ;  smell  it,  there  is  the  scent 
of  wine ;  behold  it,  there  is  the  colour  of  wine.  But  if 
you  consider  it  inwardly,  then  it  is  not  the  liquor  of  wine, 
but  the  liquor  of  Christ's  Blood,  which  is  tasted,  seen,  and 
smelt.  Since  these  things  are  undeniable,  it  is  evident, 
that  the  bread  and  wine  are  figuratively  the  Body  and 
Blood  of  Christ :  as  to  outward  appearance,  there  is  neither 
the  likeness  of  flesh  to  be  seen  in  that  bread,  nor  the 
liquor  of  blood  in  that  wine,  and  yet  after  the  mystical 
consecration,  they  are  no  longer  called  bread  and  wine, 
but  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ." 

Having  produced  some  additional  arguments,  he  says 
further,  "  Let  us  consider  the  font  of  Holy  Baptism,  which 
is  not  undeservedly  styled  the  fountain  of  life,  because  it 
regenerates  those  who  descend  into  it,  to  the  newness  of  a 
better  life  ;  and  makes  those  who  were  dead  in  sins,  alive 
unto  righteousness.  Is  it  the  visible  element  of  water 
which  hath  this  efficacy  ?  Verily,  unless  it  had  obtained 
a  sanctifying  virtue,  it  could  by  no  means  wash  away  the 
stain  of  our  sins :  and  if  it  had  not  a  quickening  power,  it 


336  BERTRAM. 

could  not  at  all  give  life  to  the  dead.  The  dead  I  mean 
not  as  to  their  bodies,  but  to  their  souls.  Yet  if  in  that 
fountain  you  consider  nothing  but  what  the  bodily  sense 
beholdeth,  you  see  only  a  fluid  element  of  a  corruptible 
nature,  and  capable  of  washing  the  body  only.  But  the 
power  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  came  upon  it  by  the  priests 
consecration,  and  it  obtained  thereby  an  efficacy  to  wash 
not  the  bodies  only,  but  also  the  souls  of  men ;  and  by  a 
spiritual  virtue,  to  take  away  their  spiritual  filth. 

"  Behold,  how  in  one  and  the  same  element,  are  seen 
two  things  contrary  to  each  other;  a  thing  corruptible, 
giving  incorruption ;  and  a  thing  without  life,  giving 
life.  It  is  manifest  then,  that  in  the  font,  there  is  both 
somewhat,  which  the  bodily  sense  perceiveth,  which  is 
therefore  mutable  and  corruptible ;  and  somewhat  which 
the  eye  of  faith  only  beholds,  and  therefore  is  neither 
corruptible  nor  mortal.  If  you  enqure  what  washes  the 
outside,  it  is  the  element;  but  if  you  consider  what 
purgeth  the  inside,  it  is  a  quickening  power,  a  sanctifying 
power,  a  power  conferring  immortality.  So  then  in  its 
own  nature,  it  is  a  corruptible  liquor,  but  in  the  mystery, 
it  is  a  healing  power. 

"  Thus  also  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  considered  as 
to  the  outside  only,  is  a  creature  subject  to  change  and 
corruption.  But  if  you  ponder  the  efficacy  of  the  mys- 
tery, it  is  life  conferring  immortality,  on  such  as  partake 
thereof.  Therefore  they  are  not  the  same  things  which 
are  seen,  and  which  are  believed.  For  the  things  seen, 
feed  a  corruptible  body,  being  corruptible  themselves  ; 
but  those  which  are  believed,  feed  immortal  souls,  being 
themselves  immortal." 

The  doctrine  is  then  enforced  by  other  instances  of 
figurative  language  occuring  in  Scripture,  such  as  no  man 
ever  dreamt  of  expounding  literally.  In  explanation  of 
John,  vi.  53,  he  says,  "  We  ought  to  consider  how  those 
words  of  our  Saviour  are  to  be  understood,  wherein  he 
saith,  Except  ye  eat  the  flesh  of  the  Son  of  Man,  and 
drink  his  blood,  ye  have  not  life  in  you.     For  he  doth 


BERTRAM.  33H 

not  say,  that  His  flesh  which  hung  on  the  cross,  should 
be  cut  in  pieces,  and  eaten  by  His  disciples ;  or  that  His 
blood,  which  He  was  to  shed  for  the  redemption  of  the 
world,  should  be  given  His  disciples  to  drink :  for  it  had 
been  a  crime  for  His  disciples  to  have  eaten  His  flesh,  and 
drunk  His  blood,  in  the  sense  that  the  unbelieving  Jews 
then  understood  Him. 

"  Wherefore,  in  the  following  words  He  saith  to  His  dis- 
ciples, who  did  not  disbelieve  that  saying  of  Christ,  though 
they  did  not  yet  penetrate  the  true  meaning  of  it.  '  Doth 
this  offend  you  ?  What  if  ye  shall  see  the  Son  of  Man 
ascending  up  where  He  was  before  ?'  As  though  He  should 
say,  '  Think  not  that  you  must  eat  my  flesh  and  drink  my 
blood  corporally,  divided  into  small  pieces  :  for,  when  after 
my  resurrection,  you  shall  see  me  ascend  into  the  heavens 
with  my  body  entire,  and  all  my  blood,  then  you  shall 
understand  that  the  faithful  must  eat  my  flesh,  not  in  the 
manner  which  these  unbelievers  imagine ;  but  that  indeed 
believers  must  receive  it,  bread  and  wine  being  mystically 
turned  into  the  substance  of  my  body  and  blood. 

"  And  after,  It  is  the  Spirit,  saith  He,  that  quickeneth, 
the  flesh  profiteth  nothing.  He  saith,  the  flesh  profiteth 
nothing,  taken  as  those  infidels  understood  Him,  but  other- 
wise it  giveth  life,  as  it  is  taken  mystically  by  the  faithful. 
And  why  so?  He  himself  shews,  when  He  saith,  It  is  the 
Spirit  that  quickeneth :  therefore  in  this  mystery  of  the 
Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  there  is  a  spiritual  operation, 
which  giveth  life  ;  without  which  operation  the  mysteries 
profit  nothing;  because  they  may  indeed  feed  the  body, 
but  cannot  feed  the  soul." 

He  then  proceeds  to  shew  that  the  fathers  of  the  Church 
before  him  understood  the  doctrine  in  the  same  sense: 
summing  up  his  argument  thus,  "  What  do  we  learn 
hence,  but  that  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ  are  there- 
fore called  mysteries,  because  they  contain  a  secret  and 
hidden  dispensation?  That  is,  it  is  one  thing  which  tncy 
outwardly  make  shew  of,  and  another  thing,  which  they 
operate  inwardly  and  invisibly. 
2f  2 


338  BERTRAM. 

"  And  for  this  reason  they  are  called  Sacraments,  be- 
cause, under  the  covert  of  bodily  things,  a  divine  power 
doth  secretly  dispense  salvation  (or  grace)  to  them  that 
faithfully  receive  them. 

"  By  all  that  hath  been  hitherto  said,  it  appears,  that 
the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  which  are  received  by  the 
mouths  of  the  faithful  in  the  Church,  are  figures  in  respect 
of  their  visible  nature ;  but  in  respect  of  the  invisible 
substance,  that  is,  the  power  of  the  word  of  God,  they  are 
truly  Christ's  Body  and  Blood.  Wherefore  as  they  are 
visible  creatures,  they  feed  the  body ;  but  as  they  have 
the  virtue  of  a  more  powerful  substance,  they  do  both  feed 
and  sanctify  the  souls  of  the  faithful." 

He  then  proceeds  to  the  second  question,  "  Whether 
that  very  Body  which  was  born  of  Mary,  which  suffered, 
was  dead  and  buried,  and  which  sits  at  the  right  hand  of 
the  Father,  be  the  same  which  is  daily  received  in  the 
church  by  the  mouths  of  the  faithful  in  the  sacramental 
mysteries:"  and  here  too  he  refers  to  the  fathers  and  an- 
cient liturgies,  giving  an  answer  on  their  authority,  to 
this  question  in  the  negative. 

"  Your  wisdom,  most  illustrious  prince,  may  observe, 
how  both  by  testimonies  out  of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  and 
the  fathers,  it  is  most  evidently  demonstrated,  that  the 
bread,  which  is  called  the  Body  of  Christ,  and  the  cup, 
which  is  called  the  Blood  of  Christ,  is  a  figure,  because  it 
is  a  mystery  ;  and  that  there  is  a  vast  difference  between 
that  which  is  His  Body  mystically,  and  that  Body  which 
suffered,  was  buried,  and  rose  again:  for  this  was  our 
Saviour's  proper  Body  :  nor  is  there  any  figure  or  significa- 
tion in  it ;  but  it  is  the  very  thing  itself.  And  the  faithful 
desire  the  vision  of  Him,  because  He  is  our  Head ;  and 
when  we  shall  see  Him,  our  desire  will  be  satisfied  ;  for 
He  and  the  Father  are  one ;  not  in  respect  of  our  Saviour's 
Body,  but  forasmuch  as  the  fulness  of  the  Godhead  dvvel- 
leth  in  the  Man  Christ. 

li  But  in  that  Body  which  is  celebrated  in  a  mystery, 
there  is  a  figure,   not  only  of  the  proper  Body  of  Christ, 


BERTRAM.  339 

but  also  of  the  people  which  believe  in  Christ :  for  it  is  a 
figure  representing  both  bodies  ;  to  wit,  that  of  Christ,  in 
which  He  died,  and  rose  again,  and  that  of  the  people 
which  are  regenerated,  and  raised  from  the  dead  (by 
baptism)  into  Christ. 

"  And  let  me  add,  that  the  bread  and  cup,  which  are 
called,  and  are  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  represent 
the  memory  of  the  Lord's  passion  or  death ;  as  Himself 
teacheth  us  in  the  gospel,  saying,  '  This  do  in  remem- 
brance of  Me.'  Which  St  Paul  the  apostle  expounding, 
saith,  '  As  oft  as  you  eat  this  bread,  and  drink  this  cup, 
you  shew  forth  the  Lord's  death  till  he  come.' 

"  We  are  here  taught  both  by  our  Saviour,  and  also  by 
St  Paul  the  apostle,  that  the  bread  and  cup  which  are 
placed  upon  the  altar,  are  set  there  for  a  figure,  or  in  re- 
membrance of  the  Lord's  death  ;  that  what  was  really  done 
long  since,  may  be  called  to  our  present  remembrance, 
that  having  His  passion  in  our  mind,  we  may  be  made 
partakers  of  that  divine  gift,  whereby  we  are  saved  from 
death :  knowing  well,  that  when  we  shall  come  to  the 
vision  of  Christ,  we  shall  need  no  such  instruments  to 
admonish  us,  what  His  infinite  goodness  was  pleased  to 
suffer  for  our  sakes ;  for  when  we  shall  see  Him  face  to 
face,  we  shall,  not  by  the  outward  admonition  of  temporal 
things,  but  by  the  contemplation  of  the  very  thing  itself, 
understand  how  much  we  are  obliged  to  give  thanks  to  the 
Author  of  our  salvation. 

"  But  in  what  I  say,  I  would  not  have  it  thought,  that 
the  Lord's  Body  and  Blood  is  not  received  by  the  faithful 
in  the  sacramental  mysteries  ;  for  faith  receives  not  that 
which  the  eye  beholds,  but  what  itself  believes.  It  is 
spiritual  meat,  and  spiritual  drink,  spiritually  feeding  the 
soul,  and  affording  a  life  of  eternal  satisfaction  ;  as  our 
Saviour  Himself,  commending  this  mystery,  speaks : 
1  It  is  the  Spirit  that  quickeneth,  the  flesh  profiteth 
nothing.'" 

Xo  apology  is  necessary  for  having  entered  into  an 
analysis  of  this  treatise,  which  was  very  serviceable  to  our 


340  BERULLE. 

reformers,  when  they  renounced  the  doctrine  of  transub- 
stantiation.  "  This  Bertram,"  says  bishop  Ridley,  "first 
pulled  me  by  the  ear,  and  that  first  brought  me  from  the 
common  error  of  the  Romish  Church,  and  caused  me  to 
search  more  diligently  both  the  Scriptures  and  the  writings 
of  the  old  ecclesiastical  fathers  on  this  matter." 

The  sentiments  of  Ratramn  were  in  accordance  with 
those  of  almost  all  among  his  contemporaries  whose  names 
are  celebrated :  Rabanus  Mauras,  the  bishop  of  Mentz ; 
Agobard,  archbishop  of  Lyons  ;  Claudius,  bishop  of  Turin; 
the  illustrious  John  Scot,  usually  designated  Erigena; 
Druthmar,  and  several  other  authors  of  high  repute  in  their 
day,  who  lent  their  aid  to  stay  the  progress  of  that  un- 
scriptural  fancy,  by  which  the  superstitious  were  labouring 
to  embarrass  the  Eucharistic  question.  For  the  further 
history  of  this  controversy  the  reader  is  referred  to  the 
articles  on  Berengarius  and  Lanfranc. 

Ratramn  died  about  the  year  870. — Ratramni  Liber 
de  Corpore  et  Sanguine  Domini.,  with  the  treatises  prefixed. 
Ridley's  Life  of  Ridley.     Soames'  History  of  Reformation. 

Bertramn,  Cornelius  Bonaventure,  professor  of  He- 
brew at  Geneva  and  Lausanne,  was  born  at  Thouars,  in 
Poitou,  in  1531,  and  died  at  Lausanne  in  1594.  He 
published — 1.  A  Dissertation  on  the  Republic  of  the 
Hebrews.  2.  A  Revision  of  the  French  Bible  of  Geneva. 
3.  Pagnini's  Thesaurus  Linguae  Sanctae.  4.  A  Parallel 
of  the  Hebrew  and  Syriac  Languages.  5.  Lucubrationes 
Frankendalenses. — Moreri. 

Berulle,  Peter  de,  wras  born  at  the  chateau  de 
Serilli,  near  Troyes,  in  Champagne,  on  the  4th  of  February, 
1575,  and  was  early  distinguished  for  his  piety  and  learn- 
ing. At  the  conference  of  Fontainbleau,  he  argued  with 
the  protestants  of  France,  and  obtained  the  approbation 
of  friends  and  foes,  equally  for  his  learning,  his  winning 
address,  and  his  gentle  deportment.  He  was  sent  into 
Spain  in  1603;  for  the  purpose  of  inducing  some  of  the 


BERULLE.  341 

Carmelites  to  settle  in  Paris  ;  and  with  considerable  diffi- 
culty, after  encountering  much  opposition,  he  succeeded 
in  establishing  that  order  in  France.  But  he  is  chiefly 
distinguished  for  having  founded,  in  1613,  the  congrega- 
tion of  the  oratory  in  France  ;  an  order  which  had  been 
recently  established  in  Italy  by  Philip  Neri.  He  was 
solicited  to  undertake  this  work  by  Francis  de  Sales,  and 
had  to  overcome  the  opposition  of  the  Jesuits.  He  had 
made  a  vow  in  early  life  not  to  accept  any  ecclesiastical 
dignity,  and  he  resisted  the  offer  of  some  wealthy  bishop- 
rics made  to  him  by  Henry  IV.  and  Louis  XIII.  Upon 
Louis's  threatening  to  apply  to  the  pope  to  compel  him  to 
break  his  vow,  and  to  accept  the  bishopric  of  Leon,  Berulle 
replied,  that  "if  the  king  continued  to  press  him  he  should 
be  obliged  to  quit  the  kingdom."  But  one  of  the  abomi- 
nations of  popery  is  the  light  regard  which  is  paid  to  vows 
and  oaths.  The  conduct  of  Louis,  just  alluded  to,  is  a 
proof  of  this  ;  and  he  was  correct  in  supposing  that  the 
pope  would  at  his  solicitation  release  Berulle  from  his 
vow,  for  this  Urban  VIII,  in  1627,  did,  when  he  created 
him  a  cardinal,  and  caused  him  to  accept  two  abbacies  to 
support  his  dignity.  The  appointment  justly  gave  offence 
to  the  French  bishops ;  and  Berulle  ought  to  have  died 
rather  than  have  submitted  to  the  indignity  of  the  car- 
dinalate.  Berulle  was  employed  in  soliciting  at  Rome  the 
dispensation  under  which  Henrietta  Maria  was  married  to 
Charles  I.  He  undertook  the  office  with  a  bold,  indepen- 
dent spirit,  and  threw  the  blame  of  the  schism  upon  the 
want  of  a  proper  conciliating  spirit  on  the  part  of  Rome 
towards  Henry  VIII.  The  court  of  Rome  took  the  hint ; 
although  the  difficulty  could  not  have  been  great  to  obtain 
a  dispensation,  on  political  grounds  then  existing,  from  a 
court  and  church  so  venal  and  so  open  to  worldly  influ- 
ences as  that  of  Rome.  Much  is  said  against  mixed  mar- 
riages by  Romish  divines,  but  the  doctrine  is  only  enforced 
against  the  poor.  The  royal,  the  noble,  and  the  wealthy, 
can  do  as  they  will,  after  submitting  to  the  farce  of  obtain- 
2f2 


342  BERYLLUS. 

ing  a  dispensation.  Berulle  accompanied  Henrietta  Maria 
to  England,  and  gained  universal  respect  by  his  discretion 
and  the  amiability  of  his  manners.  He  died  suddenly, 
October  2nd,  1629,  aged  fifty-five,  while  celebrating  the 
Holy  Eucharist. 

His  works,  chiefly  controversial,  were  printed  in  two 
vols,  folio,  in  1644,  and  they  were  reprinted  in  one  volume 
in  1647. — Cerisi.     Doni  d'Attici.     Carraccioli. 

Bervllus,  bishop  of  Bostra,  in  Arabia,  about  the  year 
244,  was  regarded  with  respect  and  esteem  by  his  contem- 
poraries until  he  asserted  a  doctrine  contrary  to  the  Catholic 
faith,  with  reference  to  our  Blessed  Lord  and  Saviour. 
According  to  Eusebius  he  erred,  "  in  daring  to  affirm  that 
our  Lord  and  Savoiur,  before  His  coming  among  men,  had 
no  proper  different  subsistence  ;  neither  any  Godhead  of 
His  own,  but  only  the  Deity  of  the  Father  residing  in  Him." 
In  explanation,  Valesius,  in  his  note  upon  the  passage, 
shews  that  Beryllus  erred  in  that  he  believed  Christ  had 
no  proper  personality  before  His  Incarnation ;  but  he  was 
orthodox  in  that  he  held  that  Christ  had  not  a  Godhead 
proper  to  Himself,  only  the  Godhead  of  the  Father  residing 
in  Him,  for  the  Godhead  of  the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  is  all  one,  the  glory  equal,  the  majesty 
co-eternal :  otherwise  there  would  be  three  Gods,  not  one 
God :  therefore  if  this  were  Beryllus's  opinion  he  may  be 
excused  ;  but  he  erred  on  this  head  in  that  he  asserted 
that  the  Son  by  Himself  is  not  properly  God,  but  has 
only  a  derivative  divinity  from  the  Father.  For  if  he 
asserted  that  the  Son  subsisted  not  personally  before 
His  Incarnation,  it  follows  that  he  deprived  Him  of  His 
divinity. " 

Many  disputes  and  conferences  having  been  held  by 
the  bishops  against  Beryllus  without  effect,  Origen  was 
sent  for.  Origen  at  first  entered  into  a  friendly  discourse 
with  Beryllus  to  ascertain  what  his  opinions  really  were, 
and  when  he  discovered  them  he  reprehended  him  for  his 


BESSARION.  343 

want  of  orthodoxy.  Origen  having  at  length  convinced 
the  bishop  of  his  error,  "took  him  as  it  were  by  the  hand," 
as  Eusebius  says,  "and  set  him  in  the  way  of  true  doc- 
trine, and  reinstated  him  in  his  former  sound  opinion." 
In  the  time  of  Eusebius  the  record  of  this  conference  was 
extant.  Beryllus,  besides  some  epistles  to  Origen,  thank- 
ing him  for  his  conversion,  left  behind  him  what  Eusebius 
styles  "several  monuments  of  an  elegant  genius,"  by  which 
Valesius  thinks  that  he  means  hymns  and  poems.  None 
of  his  works  have  come  down  to  us. — Eusebius,  with  VaU- 
sius's  Notes. 

Bessariox,  Johx,  was  born  at  Trebisond,  either  in  1389 
or  in  1395.  He  was  educated  under  the  philosopher 
Gemislius  Pletho,  who  had  the  honour  of  introducing  the 
study  of  Plato  among  the  scholars  of  the  West.  He  en- 
tered a  monastery  in  the  Peloponesus,  and  became  a  monk 
of  the  order  of  St  Basil.  In  this  monastery  he  remained 
for  twenty-one  years,  employed  in  intellectual  pursuits, 
and  became  one  of  the  most  distinguished  scholars  of 
the  age.  In  the  meantime  his  country  was  threatened 
with  destruction,  and  the  Byzantine  throne  was  evidently 
about  to  fall  a  prey  to  Turkish  ambition.  Under  these 
circumstances  John  Palaeologus  the  emperor  perceived  that 
his  chief  reliance  under  God,  rested  on  the  assistance  he 
might  obtain  from  the  European  provinces,  whose  sym- 
pathy was  hopeless  without  concessions  to  the  Latin 
Church.  He  accordingly  expressed  a  disposition  for 
such ;  and  it  so  happened  that  pope  Eugenius  IV  was  in 
such  circumstances  as  to  render  it  equally  desirable  for 
him  to  enter  into  a  negociation  with  the  Greeks. 

A  council  had  been  assembled  at  Basil,  in  Switzerland, 
in  the  year  1431.  It  was  convened  by  Martin  V,  and  his 
successor  Eugenius  IV.  The  object  which  the  fathers 
here  assembled  set  before  them,  and  pursued  with  eager- 
ness, was  the  reform  of  the  many  abuses  in  the  Church, 
which  had  been  the  fertile  subject  of  complaint  for  many 
years.     The  avarice  and  sensual  vices  of  successive  popes 


344  BESSARION. 

had  b  een  a  scandal  to  the  Church  for  many  years,  and  the 
council  of  Basil  conferred  anew  the  decrees  of  Constance, 
concerning  the  superiority  of  a  general  council  over  the 
bishop  of  Rome,  its  power  to  punish  him  if  refractory,  and 
its  freedom  from  being  dissolved  by  him.  The  resolution 
of  the  synod  was  supported  by  the  emperor  of  Germany, 
the  king  of  France,  and  the  duke  of  Milan.  But  the 
regulations  referred  to,  and  others,  which  restored  the 
Church  to  her  liberty,  and  restrained  the  tyrannical  and 
most  injurious  usurpation  of  the  Roman  pontiff,  not 
unnaturally  excited  the  wrath  of  Eugenius,  and  a  warm 
and  violent  contest  ensued  between  the  pope  and  the 
council.  The  latter  summoned  Eugenius  to  appear  before 
them  at  Basil  on  the  26th  day  of  June,  1437,  in  order  to 
give  an  account  of  his  conduct ;  but  the  pontiff,  instead  of 
complying  with  the  summons,  issued  a  decree  by  which  he 
pretended  to  dissolve  the  council,  and  to  assemble  another 
at  Ferrara.  Although  this  decree  was  treated  with  the 
utmost  contempt  by  the  council,  who  pronounced  sentence 
of  contumacy  against  the  rebellious  pontiff  for  having 
refused  to  obey  their  order;  yet  in  1438  Eugenius  opened 
in  person  the  council  which  he  had  summoned  to  meet  at 
Ferrara. 

Thus  were  there  two  parties  in  the  West  anxious  to 
enter  into  a  treaty  with  the  Byzantine  emperor  and  the 
Greek  church,  in  order  to  strengthen  their  hands.  The 
council  of  Basil  had  invited  the  emperor  and  the  patriarch 
of  Constantinople  to  unite  with  them ;  they  agreed  to  pay 
his  travelling  expenses  ;  to  remit  an  immediate  sum  of 
eight  thousand  ducats  for  the  accommodation  of  the  Greek 
clergy ;  and  in  his  absence  to  grant  a  supply  of  ten  thou- 
sand ducats,  with  three  hundred  archers,  and  some  galleys 
for  the  protection  of  Constantinople.  But  Eugenius  was 
sensible  of  the  importance  of  the  emperor  of  the  Greeks. 
He  solicited  his  friendship;  and  to  transport  the  Byzantine 
prince  to  Ferrara,  he  despatched  nine  galleys,  with  the 
persuasive  argument  of  fifteen  thousand  ducats  and  the 
most  splendid  promises.    In  an  evil  hour  John  Palaeologus 


BESSARION.  345 

accepted  the  invitation  of  the  pope:  had  he  adhere  1  to  the 
council  of  Basil  it  is  probable  that  the  papal  authority 
would,  if  not  overthrown,  have  been  circumscribed  within 
just  limits,  and  the  Eastern  and  Western  Churches  might 
have  been  once  again  united.  But  to  Ferrara  the  Greek 
emperor  repaired  with  the  aged  patriarch  Joseph,  and  a 
various  retinue  of  bishops  and  ministers,  of  monks  and 
philosophers  :  among  whom  was  Bessarion,  now  dignified 
with  the  title  of  archbishop  of  Nice. 

When  they  arrived  at  Ferrara  the  etiquette  necessary  to 
be  observed  by  the  visitors  and  the  visited  first  engrossed 
their  attention  The  pride  of  the  pope  yielded  to  sound 
policy,  and,  dispensing  with  the  honours  usually  shewn 
him  on  such  occasions,  he  received  Palaeologus  and 
his  patriarch  with  a  salutation  of  union  and  charity, 
although  the  Greek  ecclesiastics  refused  a  compliance 
with  the  ceremony  of  kissing  the  pope's  foot.  The  chief 
points  to  be  got  over  were  the  doctrine  of  purgatory,  the 
papal  supremacy,  and  the  procession  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
from  the  Son,  all  which  the  Greeks  denied.  In  the  midst 
of  the  discussions  a  fever  broke  out  at  Ferrara,  and  the 
council  was  removed  to  Florence,  an  arrangement  to  which 
the  Greek  patriarch  and  bishops  did  not  consent  without 
considerable  hesitation.  At  Florence  the  discussions  were 
resumed.  The  Romanists  were  supported  by  the  elo- 
quence of  cardinal  Julian,  while  Bessarion  and  Mark  of 
Ephesus  headed  the  Greeks.  If  Bessarion  was  surpassed 
by  Mark  in  powers  of  reasoning,  his  skill  and  eloquence 
as  a  disputant  made  him  more  than  a  match  for  the  most 
powerful  advocates  on  the  papal  side.  But  the  champion 
of  the  Eastern  church  was  not  inaccessible  to  flattery 
and  bribes,  and  he  became  an  apostate  and  a  papist  He 
was  immediately  employed  by  the  pope  to  corrupt  others ; 
and  by  rewards,  persuasions,  threats,  and  promises,  eigh- 
teen of  the  Eastern  bishops  were  induced  to  sign  the  decree 
made  in  the  tenth  session,  declaring  that  the  Holy  Ghost 
proceedeth  from  the  Father  and  the  Son  :  that  the  Sacra- 
ment is  validly  consecrated  in  unleavened  as  well  as  in 


346  BESSARION 

leavened  bread  :  that  there  is  a  purgatory :  and  that  the 
Roman  pontiff  is  primate  and  head  of  the  whole  Church. 
The  patriarch  of  Constantinople,  (who  died  at  the  council,) 
Mark  of  Ephesus,  the  patriarch  of  Heraclea,  and  Athana 
sius,  remained  uncorrupted. 

The  Greek  deputies  returned  to  Constantinople,  and 
were  received  there  with  one  burst  of  indignation. 

The  Greek  church  indignantly  rejected  all  that  had 
been  done,  and  in  a  council  at  Constantinople,  held, 
according  to  their  own  account,  a  year  and  a  half  after 
the  termination  of  that  of  Florence,  all  the  Florentine 
proceedings  were  declared  null  and  void,  and  the  synod 
was  condemned.  The  patriarch  of  Constantinople,  Gregory, 
who  had  succeeded  Joseph,  and  was  inclined  to  the  Latins, 
was  deposed,  and  Athanasius  chosen  in  his  stead.  The 
patriarchs  of  Alexandria,  Antioch,  Jerusalem,  and  the 
chiefs  of  the  old  patriarchates  of  Ephesus,  Heraclea,  and 
Cassarea,  were  all  present  and  concerned  in  these  transac- 
tions. The  subscribing  ecclesiastics  instead  of  justifying, 
deplored  their  weakness :  "Alas!  we  have  been  seduced 
by  distress,  by  fraud,  and  by  the  hopes  and  fears  of  a 
transitory  life.  The  hand  that  has  signed  the  union 
should  be  cut  off;  and  the  tongue  that  has  pronounced 
the  Latin  creed  deserves  to  be  torn  from  the  root,"  was  the 
answer  to  the  reproachful  question,  what  had  become  of  the 
Italian  synod. 

It  may  be  here  remarked,  that  although  the  synod  of 
Florence  is  considered  as  oecumenical  by  ultra-montane 
papists,  it  was  rejected  not  only  by  the  Eastern  church, 
but  also  by  many  of  the  Western  churches.  Cardinal  de 
Lorraine  declared  in  the  synod  of  Trent,  1563,  that  the 
university  of  Paris  did  not  hold  the  synod  of  Florence  as 
oecumenical.  Launoi  says,  that  the  Gallican  church  does 
not  number  it  among  general  councils. 

We  may  well  suppose  that  Bessarion  was  in  no  enviable 
predicament  when  he  returned  to  his  native  land :  he 
was  branded  as  a  bastard  Greek,  false  to  his  country  and 
his  church,    and  was  generally  abhored  as    an  apostate. 


BESSARION.  347 

He  fled  from  disgrace  in  his  own  country  to  enjoy  the 
rewards  of  his  apostacy  in  Italy.  Already,  in  1439,  the 
grateful  Eugenius  had  made  him  a  cardinal,  and,  under 
Nicholas  V,  he  became  archbishop  of  Siponto  and  cardinal 
bishop.  Pius  II,  in  1463,  mocked  him  with  the  title  of 
patriarch  of  Constantinople;  an  insult  to  the  Greek 
church,  which  only  exasperated  them  yet  more  against 
Bessarion.  On  the  death  of  Nicholas  V,  and  again  on 
the  death  of  Paul  II,  Bessarion  had  a  fair  chance  of  being 
himself  elected  to  the  papal  throne. 

His  learning,  and  his  patronage  of  learned  men,  added 
to  the  simplicity  of  his  habits,  in  spite  of  wealth  and  high 
station,  rendered  him  extremely  popular.  His  house  was 
the  resort  of  men  of  genius,  and  when  he  appeared  abroad 
his  train  was  composed  of  the  most  distinguished  scholars 
of  the  age.  He  was  employed  in  some  embassies  of  a 
difficult  and  delicate  kind,  but  it  would  seem  that  his 
skill  as  a  politician  was  not  so  great,  as  his  genius  in 
literature.  On  his  return  from  an  embassy  to  France,  in 
which  he  not  only  failed,  but  was  subjected,  it  is  said,  to 
the  grossest  personal  indignities  from  the  French  king, 
he  was  taken  ill  at  Piavenna,  where  he  died  on  the  19th  of 
November,  1472.  His  funeral,  which  took  place  at  Piome, 
was  attended  by  the  pope,  an  honour  not  hitherto  paid  to 
the  memory  of  any  cardinal.  His  praises  were  celebrated 
in  Latin  and  Greek  verse,  and  his  memory  has  been 
respected  in  the  annals  of  literature  as  one  of  the  restorers 
of  classical  learning.  He  had  procured  manuscripts, 
regardless  of  expense,  from  all  parts  of  Greece,  and  having 
thus  formed  a  noble  library,  he  bequeathed  it  to  the  senate 
of  Venice.  His  most  celebrated  works  were  his  Latin  trans- 
lations of  Xenophon's  Memorabilia,  and  Aristotle's  Meta- 
physics, together  with  a  treatise,  Contra  Calumniatorem 
Platonis,  and  his  Orationes  de  gravissimis  Periculis,  quae 
rei-publicae  Christianse  a  Turcis  jam  turn  impendere  pro- 
videbat.  These  two  last  works  are  very  scarce  and  much 
valued  by  collectors.  Although  he  left  many  theological 
works,  very  few  of  them  have  been  printed.    In  a  collection 


348  BEVERIDGE. 

of  Opuscula  Theologica,  published  at  Rome  in  1634, 
four  of  his  treatises  are  to  be  found,  and  another,  De 
Sacramento  Eucharistiae,  was  published  in  the  Bibliotheca 
Patrum,  at  Paris. — Hodius  de  Greeds  illustribus.  Cave. 
Fabricius.  Perceval  Roman  Schism.  Palmer  on  the  Church. 
Gibbon.     Mosheim. 

Beveeidge,  William,  was  born  in  the  year  1636-7, 
at  Barrow  upon  Soar,  near  Loughborough,  in  Leicester- 
shire. Having  received  his  primary  education,  first  under 
his  father,  and  afterwards  at  Okeham  school,  in  the  county 
of  Rutland,  he  was,  in  1653,  admitted  as  a  sizar  at  St 
John's  college,  Cambridge.  Here  his  attention  was  direct- 
ed not  only  to  classical  pursuits,  but  to  the  study  also  of 
the  oriental  languages ;  a  study  which  he  recommended 
in  a  Latin  treatise,  and  still  more  effectually  by  the  pub- 
lication of  a  Syriac  grammar,  composed  when  he  was  only 
eighteen  years  of  age,  and  published  two  years  after. 
These  publications  were  of  much  service  in  their  day,  and 
were  both  of  them  reprinted  in  1664.  His  character  at 
college,  however,  was  established,  not  only  for  proficiency 
as  a  scholar,  but  for  the  depth  of  his  piety,  and  the  inte- 
grity of  his  life.  What  his  early  piety  was  may  be  seen 
from  a  juvenile  work  published  after  his  death,  and  even 
now  in  high  repute,  his  "  Private  Thoughts."  This  work 
was  published  in  1709,  and  has  often  been  reprinted.  It 
displays  the  piety  of  his  disposition,  and  notwithstanding 
some  doctrinal  errors,  is  much  valued.  He  seems  in  this 
work  scarcely  to  have  realized  the  Scripture  view  of  rege- 
neration, which  is  ably  expounded  in  the  35th  sermon  of 
the  first  volume  of  his  works  : — 

But  what  our  Lord  means  by  being  *  born  of  water  and 
the  Spirit,'  is  now  made  a  question :  I  say  now,  for  it  was 
never  made  so  till  of  late  years.  For  many  ages  together 
none  doubted  of  it,  but  the  whole  Christian  world  took  it 
for  granted,  that  our  Saviour,  by  these  words,  meant  only 
that  except  a  man  be  baptized  according  to  his  institution, 
he  cannot  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  God ;  this  being  the 


BEVERIDGE.  349 

most  plain  and  obvious  sense  of  the  words,  forasmuch  as 
there  is  no  other  way  of  being  born  again  of  water,  as  well 
as  of  the  Spirit,  but  only  in  the  Sacrament  of  Baptism. 

"  To  understand  what  he  means  by  being  born  again, 
we  must  call  to  mind  what  he  saith  in  another  place, 
'  My  kingdom  is  not  of  this  world ;'  (John,  xviii.  36.) 
though  it  is  in  this  world,  it  is  not  of  it;  it  is  not  a 
secular  or  earthly  kingdom,  but  a  kingdom  purely  spiritual 
and  heavenly :  ;  It  is  not  meat  and  drink,  but  righte- 
ousness, and  peace,  and  joy  in  the  Holy  Ghost ;'  (Rom. 
xiv.  17.)  And  therefore  when  a  man  is  born  into  this 
world,  he  is  not  thereby  qualified  for  the  kingdom  of 
God,  nor  hath  any  right  title  to  it,  no  more  than  as 
if  he  had  not  been  born  at  all;  but  before  he  enter 
into  that,  he  must  be  born  again,  he  must  undergo 
another  kind  of  birth  than  he  had  before  :  he  was  before 
born  of  the  flesh,  he  must  now  be  born  of  the  Sj)irit; 
otherwise  he  cannot  be  capable  of  entering  into  such 
a  kingdom,  as  is  altogether  spiritual.  Thus  our  Lord 
Himself  explains  his  own  meaning  by  adding  immedi- 
ately in  the  next  words,  '  That  which  is  born  of  the 
flesh,  is  flesh,'  &c.  .  .  .  As  if  He  had  said,  he  that  is 
bora,  as  all  men  are  at  first,  only  of  the  flesh,  such  a  one 
is  altogether  carnal  and  sensual ;  and  so  can  be  affected 
with  nothing  but  the  sensible  objects  of  this  world.  But 
he  that  is  born  of  the  Spirit  of  God,  thereby  becomes  a 
spiritual  creature,  and  so  is  capable  of  those  spiritual 
things  of  which  the  kingdom  of  God  consisteth,  '  even  of 
righteousness,  and  peace,  and  joy  in  the  Holy  Ghost.' 
And  he  whose  mind  is  changed,  and  turned  from  darkness 
to  light,  and  from  the  power  of  Satan  unto  God,  is  truly 
said  to  be  born  again ;  because  he  is  quickened  with  ano- 
ther kind  of  life  than  he  had  before ;  and  to  be  born  of 
the  Spirit  of  God,  because  it  is  by  it  that  this  new  and 
spiritual  life  is  wrought  in  him.  So  that  he  is  now  born 
into  another  world,  even  into  the  kingdom  of  God,  where 
he  hath  God  Himself,  of  whom  he  is  born,  for  his  Father, 
vol.  n.  2  G 


350  BEVERIDGE. 

and  the  kingdom  of  God  for  his  portion  and  inheritance. 
And  therefore  it  is,  that  except  a  man  be  thus  born  of  the 
Spirit,  it  is  inrpossible  he  should  enter  into  the  kingdom 
of  God,  seeing  he  can  enter  into  it  no  other  way,  than  by 
being  born  of  the  Spirit. 

"  But  thai  we  may  thus  be  born  of  the  Spirit,  we  must 
be  born  also  of  water,  which  our  Saviour  here  puts  in  the 
first  place.  Not  as  if  there  was  any  such  virtue  in  water, 
whereby  it  could  regenerate  us,  but  because  this  is  the  rite 
or  ordinance  appointed  by  Christ,  wherein  to  regenerate 
us  by  His  Holy  Spirit.  Our  regeneration  is  wholly  the 
act  of  the  Spirit  of  Christ ;  but  there  must  be  something 
done  on  our  parts  in  order  to  it,  and  something  that  is 
instituted  and  ordained  by  Christ  Himself:  which  in  the 
Old  Testament  was  circumcision;  in  the  New,  baptism,  or 
washing  with  water :  the  easiest  that  could  be  invented,  and 
the  most  proper  to  signify  His  cleansing  and  regenerat- 
ing us  by  His  Holy  Spirit.  And  seeing  this  is  instituted 
by  Christ  Himself,  as  we  cannot  be  born  of  water  without 
the  Spirit,  neither  can  we,  in  an  ordinary  way,  be  born  of 
the  Spirit  without  water,  used  or  applied  in  obedience 
and  conformity  to  His  institution.  Christ  hath  joined 
them  together,  and  it  is  not  in  our  power  to  part  them  : 
he  that  would  be  bom  of  the  Spirit,  must  be  born  of  water 
too 

"As  baptizing  necessarily  implies  the  use.  of  water,  so 
our  being  made  thereby  disciples  of  Christ,  as  necessarily 
implies  our  partaking  of  His  Spirit :  for  all  that  are  bap- 
tized, and  so  made  the  disciples  of  Christ,  are  thereby 
made  the  members  of  His  Body ;  and  are  therefore  said 
to  be  baptized  into  Christ,  (Rom.  vi.  5.  Gal.  hi.  27.)  But 
they  who  are  in  Christ,  members  of  His  Body,  must  needs 
partake  of  the  Spirit  that  is  in  Him  their  Head.  Neither 
doth  the  Spirit  of  Christ  only  follow  upon,  but  certainly 
accompanies  the  Sacrament  of  Baptism,  when  duly  ad- 
ministered according  to  His  institution.  For  as  St  Paul 
saith,   '  By  one  Spirit  we  are  all  baptized  into  one  Body/ 


BEVERIDGE.  351 

(1  Cor.  xii.  13.)  So  that  in  the  very  act  of  baptism,  the 
Spirit  unites  us  unto  Christ,  and  makes  us  members  of 
His  Body;  and  if  of  His  Body,  then  of  His  Church  and 
Kingdom,  that  being  all  His  Body.  And  therefore  all 
who  are  rightly  baptized  with  water,  being  at  the  same 
time  baptized  also  with  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  so  born  of 
water  and  the  Spirit,  they  are,  ipso  facto,  admitted  into 
the  Kingdom  of  God,  established  upon  earth,  and  if  it 
be  not  their  own  fault,  will  as  certainly  attain  to  that 
which  is  in  heaven." 

A  little  further  on  he  says  : — "  This  I  would  desire  all 
here  present  to  take  special  notice  of,  that  you  may  not  be 
deceived  by  a  sort  of  people  risen  up  among  us,  who  being 
led,  as  they  pretend,  by  the  light  within  them,  are  fallen 
into  such  horrid  darkness,  and  damnable  heresies,  that 
they  have  quite  laid  a-ide  the  Sacrament  of  Baptism,  and 
affirm,  in  flat  contradiction  to  our  Saviour's  words,  that 
they  may  be  saved  without  it.  I  pray  God  to  open  their 
eyes,  that  they  may  not  g  >  blindfold  into  eternal  damna- 
tion. And  I  advise  you  all,  as  you  desire  not  to  apostatize 
from  the  Christian  religion,  and  as  you  tender  your  eter- 
nal salvation,  take  heed  that  you  be  never  seduced  by 
them,  under  any  pretence  whatsoever  ;  but  rather,  if  you 
be  acquainted  with  any  of  them,  do  what  you  can  to  turn 
them  from  darkness  to  light,  from  the  power  of  Satan  unto 
God  again ;  that  they  may  obtain  forgiveness  of  their 
sins,  and  inheritance  among  them  who  are  sanctified 
by  faith  in  Him  who  saith,  '  Except  a  man  be  born  of 
water,'  &c. 

"  Not  only  a  man,  in  contradiction  to  a  child,  or  a 
woman,  but  as  it  is  in  the  original,  Idv  pn  m,  except  any 
one,  any  human  creature  whatsoever,  man,  woman,  or  child, 
'  except  he  be  born  of  water,"  &c.  ...  So  that  our  Lord  is 
so  far  from  excluding  children  from  baptism,  that  He 
plainly  includes  them,  speaking  in  such  general  terms, 
on  purpose  that  we  may  know  that  no  sort  of  people,  old 
or  young,  can  ever  be  saved  without  it.  And  so  He  doth 
too,  where  He  commands,  as  was  observed  before,  that 


352  BEVEPJDGR 

'All  nations  should  be  made  disciples  by  being  baptized 
in  the  name  of,'  .  .  .  .  For,  under  all  nations,  children 
must  needs  be  comprehended,  which  make  a  great,  if  not 
the  greatest  part  of  all  nations.  And  although  these 
general  expressions  be  sufficient  to  demonstrate  the  neces- 
sity of  infant  baptism,  yet  foreseeing  that  ignorant  and 
unlearned  people  would  be  apt  to  wrest  the  Scriptures 
to  their  own  destruction,  He  elsewhere  commands  chil- 
dren particularly  to  be  brought  unto  Him,  saying,  '  Suffer 
the  little  children,'  &c.  (Mark,  x.  14.)  But  if  the  kingdom 
of  God  consist  of  children,  as  well  as  other  people,  they 
must  of  necessity  be  baptized,  or  born  of  water  and  the 
Spirit ;  for  otherwise,  He  Himself  saith,  *  They  cannot 
enter  into  the  kingdom.' 

"  Hence  it  is,  that  we  find  the  apostles  baptizing  whole 
families,  children,  if  any,  as  well  as  others  :  and  the  whole 
Catholic  Church,  in  all  places  and  ages  ever  since,  hath 
constantly  admitted  the  children  of  believing  parents  into 
the  Church,  by  baptizing  them  according  to  the  institution 
and  command  of  our  Saviour ;  none  ever  making  any 
question  of  it,  but  all  Christians,  all  the  world  over, 
taking  it  for  granted  that  it  ought  to  be  done,  till  of  late 
years." 

On  the  third  of  January,  1660 — 1,  he  was  ordained 
deacon  by  bishop  Sanderson,  and,  on  the  thirty-first 
of  the  same  month,  was  admitted  into  priest's  orders. 
About  the  same  time  Dr  Gilbert  Sheldon,  then  bishop  of 
London,  collated  him  to  the  vicarage  of  Ealing,  in  the 
county   of  Middlesex. 

From  his  sermon  "  On  Christ's  presence  with  His 
Ministers,"  we  gather  his  sentiments  on  the  apostolical 
succession,  and  the  sacred  office  to  which  he  was  now 
admitted. 

"  In  the  first  place  I  observe,  how  much  we  are  all 
bound  to  acknowledge  the  goodness,  to  praise,  magnify, 
and  adore  the  Name  of  the  Most  High  God,  in  that  we 
were  born  and  bred,  and  still  live  in  a  church,  wherein  the 
apostolical  line  hath,  through  all  ages,   been  preserved 


BEVERIDGE.  $$$ 

entire ;  there  having  been  a  constant  succession  of  such 
bishops  in  it,  as  were  truly  and  properly  successors  to  the 
apostles,  by  virtue  of  that  apostolical  imposition  of  hands, 
which  being  begun  by  the  apostles,  hath  been  continued 
from  one  to  another,  ever  since  their  time,  down  to  ours. 
By  which  means  the  same  Spirit  which  was  breathed  by  our 
Lord  into  his  apostles  is,  together  with  their  office,  trans- 
mitted to  their  lawful  successors,  the  pastors  and  governors 
of  our  church  at  this  time ;  and  acts,  moves,  and  assists 
at  the  administration  of  the  several  parts  of  the  apostolical 
office  in  our  days,  as  much  as  ever.  From  whence  it 
follows,  that  the  means  of  grace  which  we  now  enjoy  are 
in  themselves  as  powerful  and  effectual  as  they  were  in 
the  apostles'  days,  &c 

"And  this,  I  verily  believe,  is  the  great  reason  why  the 
devil  has  such  a  great  spite  at  our  church,  still  stirring 
up  adversaries  of  all  sorts  against  it, — papists  on  the  one 
hand,  and  sectaries  on  the  other,  and  all,  if  possible,  to 
destroy  it ;  even  because  the  Spirit  which  is  ministered  in 
it,  is  so  contrary  to  his  nature,  and  so  destructive  of  his 
kingdom,  that  he  can  never  expect  to  domineer  and 
tyrannize  over  the  people  of  the  land,  so  long  as  such 
a  church  is  settled  among  them,  and  they  continue 
firm  to  it.  .  .  . 

"  As  for  schism,  they  certainly  hazard  their  salvation  at 
a  strange  rate,  who  separate  themselves  from  such  a 
church  as  ours  is,  wherein  the  apostolical  succession,  the 
root  of  all  Christian  communion,  hath  been  so  entirely 
preserved,  and  the  word  and  sacraments  are  so  effectually 
administered ;  and  all  to  go  into  such  assemblies  and 
meetings,  as  can  have  no  pretence  to  the  great  promise  in 
my  text.  (Matt,  xxviii.  20.)  For  it  is  manifest,  that  this 
promise  was  made  only  to  the  apostles  and  their  succes- 
sors to  the  end  of  the  world.  Whereas,  in  the  private 
meetings,  where  their  teachers  have  no  apostolical  or 
episcopal  imposition  of  hands,  they  have  no  ground  to 
succeed  the  apostles,  nor  by  consequence  any  right  to  the 
2g2 


354  BEVERIDGE. 

Spirit  which  our  Lord  hath ;  without  which,  although 
they  preach  their  hearts  out,  I  do  not  see  what  spiritual 
advantage  can  accrue  to  their  hearers  by  it,"  &c 

At  Ealing  he  remained  for  twelve  years,  and  here  he 
was  able  to  pursue  his  studies  while  discharging  with  dili- 
gence his  parochial  duties.  The  result  of  his  studies  was 
apparent  in  1669,  in  the  appearance  of  his  Institutionum 
Chronologicarum  libri  duo,  una  cum  totidem  Arithmetices 
Chronological  Libellis.  Although  it  was  regarded  by  the 
author  only  as  an  elementary  work,  it  has  been  made  use 
of  by  subsequent  chronologers,  and  was  so  well  received 
at  the  time  of  its  publication,  that  new  editions  were 
required  in  1705,  and  in  1721.  His  great  work  ap- 
peared in  1672,  entitled  Zuvo&xov,  sive  Pandectse  Canonum 
SS.  Apostolorum  et  Conciliorum  ab  Ecclesia  Graeca  recep- 
torum ;  nee  non  Canonicarum  SS.  Patrum  Epistolarum ; 
una  cum  Schohis  Antiquorum  singulis  eorum  annexis, 
et  Scriptis  aliis  hue  spectantibus ;  quorum  plurima  e 
Bibliothecae  Bodleianse,  aliarumque  MSS.  Codicibus  nunc 
primum  edita:  reliqua  cum  iisdem  MSS.  summa  Fide  et 
Diligentia  collata.  Totum  Opus,  in  duos  Tomos  divisum, 
Gulielmus  Beveregius,  Ecclesise  Anglican®  Presbyter, 
recensuit,  Prolegomenis  et  Annotationibus  auxit,  2  vols, 
folio. 

The  first  volume  contains  the  canons  that  have  been 
assigned  to  the  apostles,  those  of  the  two  Nicene  councils, 
of  four  Constantinopolitan  councils,  and  of  other  Asiatic 
councils,  together  with  the  arguments  and  Arabic  para- 
phrase of  Joseph,  surnamed  the  Egyptian,  on  the  canons 
of  the  first  four  general  councils ;  the  whole  being  prefaced 
by  the  learned  editor's  Prolegomena  The  second  volume 
contains  the  canons  of  Dionysius  and  Peter,  both  of 
Alexandria;  various  monuments  of  oriental  episcopacy; 
the  Syntagma,  or  alphabetical  index,  compiled  by  Michael 
Blastaris ;  the  acts  of  the  synod,  which  restored  Photius 
to  the  patriarchate  of  Constantinople,  and  those  of  the 
eighth  council  held  there.     The  work  has  Greek  in  one 


BEVERIDGE.  355 

column,  and  a  Latin  translation  in  the  other,  and  com- 
prises the  Scholia  of  learned  orientals  on  most  of  the 
canons,  together  with  copious  notes  by  Beveridge  himself. 

The  "Pandectae  Canonum,"  as  Mr  Home  observes,  con- 
tinues to  hold  a  distinguished  place  in  public  libraries,  as 
a  book  of  permanent  authority  and  reference  in  all  matters 
of  controversy  relative  to  the  doctrines  or  discipline  of  the 
Christian  Church. 

The  publication  of  this  great  work  appears  to  have 
excited  considerable  attention  upon  the  Continent,  where 
some  of  his  opinions,  relative  to  the  date  of  the  canons 
attributed  to  the  apostles,  were  attacked  in  an  anonymous 
tract,  now  known  to  have  been  written  by  Matthieu  de 
Larroque,  a  minister  of  the  French  reformed  church  at 
Rouen;  who,  in  1674,  published  '  Observationes  in  Igna- 
tianas  Pearsonii  Vindicis,  et  in  Adnotationes  Beveridgii 
in  Canones  Apostolorum.'  Rothomagi,  8vo.  This  called 
forth  a  reply  from  Dr  Beveridge,  intituled,  '  Codex 
Canonum  Ecclesiaa  Primitives  Vindicatus  et  Illustratue. 
Londini,  1697,'  in  4to. 

In  his  notes  on  these  canons,  he  had  fixed  their  date 
to  the  end  of  the  second,  or  beginning  of  the  third 
century ;  taking  a  middle  course  between  the  opinion  of 
Francesco  Turriano,  who  affirmed  that  they  were  all  made 
by  the  apostles  at  the  council  of  Jerusalem,  and  that  of 
Jean  Daille,  an  eminent  minister  of  the  French  reformed 
church  at  Paris,  who  maintained  they  were  the  production 
of  some  anonymous  writer,  who  forged  these  pretended 
apostolical  canons  before  the  end  of  the  fifth  century. 
The  strictures  of  Beveridge  on  the  hypothesis  of  Daille 
called  forth  the  observations  of  Larroque,  to  whom  the 
'  Codex  Canonum  Primitivae  Ecclesiae  Vindicatus'  is  de- 
signed as  a  reply.  The  bishop  has  here  re- asserted  and 
vindicated  the  date  which  he  had  assigned  to  these 
canons,  with  much  learning  and  ingenuity.  The  judg- 
ment, however,  of  the  learned  is  not  in  unison  with  his 
Vindication.  These  pseudepigraphal  canons  are  unques- 
tionably of  great  antiquity:  but  although  they  bear  the 


356  BEVERIDGE. 

name  of  the  apostles  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  they  are 
destitute  of  the  external  evidence  necessary  to  support  that 
claim,  not  having  been  quoted  by  any  Christian  writer  of 
the  first  three  centuries. 

From  the  Codex  Canonum  Eccles.  Prim.  Vindicatus  ac 
illustratus  we  may  gather  Beveridge's  church  principles. 
"  Seeing,"  he  says  "  that  no  one  doubts  but  that  more 
confidence  is  to  be  placed  in  the  whole  body  than  in  indi- 
vidual Christians,  and  more  in  the  universal  Church  than 
in  any  particular  churches  whatsoever :  seeing  also  that 
there  are  very  many  points  in  which  the  universal  Church, 
during  many  ages  after  the  apostles,  agreed :  seeing,  finally, 
that  this  consent  of  the  universal  Church  is  the  surest  in- 
terpretation of  holy  Scripture  on  those  points  on  which  it 
may  be  had :  it  hence  most  clearly  follows,  of  what  and 
how"  great  use  the  andent  fathers,  and  other  writers  of  all 
ages  of  the  Church,  must  be,  and  how  necessary  to  be  con- 
sulted by  them,  who,  in  the  prosecution  of  ecclesiastical 
controversies,  have  at  heart  either  their  own  salvation,  or 
the  peace  of  the  Church.  For,  were  there  no  commentaries 
of  the  ancient  church,  no  acts  of  councils,  no  monuments 
of  ecclesiastical  history,  extant  at  this  day,  in  how  great 
darkness  should  we  be  involved  respecting  our  very  reli- 
gion itself?  How  easy  would  it  be  for  any  subtle  heretic, 
or  even  for  any  the  most  flagitious  impostor,  under  the 
mask  of  piety,  to  deceive  the  generality,  and  to  lead  them 
into  the  most  pernicious  errors  of  every  description  ? 
Who  could  then  convict  the  church  of  Rome,  or  any  other, 
even  the  most  corrupt  communion,  of  fault  or  error,  in 
those  particulars  which  are  not  expressly  prohibited  in 
holy  Scripture  ?  For  whence  could  it  be  proved,  whether 
those  things  which  are  in  use  in  that  church  had,  or  had 
not,  been  handed  down  from  the  very  apostles,  and  ap- 
proved by  the  consent  of  the  universal  Church  ?  Finally, 
how  many  and  how  great  disadvantages  of  every  kind 
would  arise  hence  ?  But  there  is  no  reason  that  we  should 
occupy  our  time  in  the  enumeration  of  these  things,  seeing 
that  amidst  so  many  and  so  great  confusions  of  empires, 


BEVERIDGE.  357 

convulsions  of  particular  churches,  and  perturbation  of  all 
human  affairs,  it  hath  been  so  ordered  by  the  most  wise 
and  merciful  providence  of  Almighty  G  od,  that  from  the 
veiy  times  of  the  apostles  even  unto  these  our  own  times, 
there  is  no  age  whose  ecclesiastical  memorials  are  not 
preserved  to  us.  From  which  memorials  accordingly  we 
are  enabled  to  conceive  a  perfect  idea  of  the  universal 
Church,  and  to  feel  assured  and  certain,  what  has  through 
all  ages  been  admitted  and  what  rejected :  what  rites  and 
doctrines  have  prevailed,  what  heresies  and  schisms  have 
been  disapproved  and  condemned.  Finally,  from  these 
and  these  alone  we  may  see,  on  what  points  of  doctrine 
and  discipline,  agreement  hath  ever  prevailed  among  all 
churches,  and  on  what  again,  controversy  hath  existed 
between  them,  and  consequently  what  is  more,  and  what 
less,  necessary  to  be  believed  and  observed.  For  whatever 
is  to  be  said  of  other  things,  those  things  at  any  rate  in 
which  all  churches  every  where  have  agreed,  cannot  but 
be  most  certain,  and  necessary,  even  at  this  very  time,  to 
be  retained  of  all." 

His  view  of  our  reformation  also  is  admirable,  on  which 
subject  he  remarks,  "  When  this  our  English  church, 
through  long  communion  with  the  Roman  church,  had 
contracted  like  stains  with  her,  from  which  it  was  neces- 
sary that  it  should  be  cleansed,  they  who  took  that  excel- 
lent and  very  necessary  work  in  hand,  fearing  that  they, 
like  others,  might  rush  from  one  extreme  to  the  other, 
removed  indeed  those  things,  as  well  doctrines  as  ceremo- 
nies, which  the  Roman  church  had  newly  and  insensibly 
superinduced,  and,  as  was  fit,  abrogated  them  utterly. 
Yet  notwithstanding,  whatsoever  things  had  been,  at  all 
times,  believed  and  observed,  by  all  churches,  in  all  places, 
those  things  they  most  religiously  took  care  not  so  to 
abolish  with  them.  For  they  well  knew,  that  all  par- 
ticular churches  are  to  be  formed  on  the  model  of  the 
universal  Church,  according  to  that  general  and  received 
rule  in  ethics,  '  every  part  which  agreeth  not  with  its 
whole  is  therein  base.'     Hence  therefore  these  first  re- 


358  BEVERIDGE. 

formers  of  this  particular  church  directed  the  whole  line 
of  that  reformation,  which  they  undertook,  according  to 
the  rule  of  the  whole  or  universal  Church,  casting  away 
those  things  only  which  had  been  either  unheard  of,  or 
rejected  by,  the  universal  Church,  but  most  religiously 
retaining  those  which  they  saw,  on  the  other  side,  corro- 
borated by  the  consent  of  the  universal  Church.  Whence 
it  hath  been  brought  to  pass,  that  although  we  have  not 
communion  with  the  Roman,  nor  with  certain  other  par- 
ticular Churches,  as  at  this  day  constituted,  yet  have  we 
abiding  communion  with  the  universal  and  Catholic 
Church,  of  which  evidently  ours,  as  by  the  aid  of  God  first 
constituted,  and  by  his  pity  still  preserved,  is  the  perfect 
image  and  representation. 

"  But,  that  we  digress  no  further  from  our  proposed 
object,  when  we  are  speaking  of  the  universal  Church,  and 
its  agreement,  without  any  doubt,  regard  is  to  be  had 
especially  to  the  primitive  church :  inasmuch  as,  although 
it  be  only  a  part  of  the  whole,  yet  is  it  universally  agreed 
that  it  was  the  more  pure  and  genuine  part.  For  the 
same  hath  happened  to  the  Church,  which  hath  happened 
to  each  several  commonwealth,  namely,  that,  ancient 
customs  passing  by  degrees  into  disuse,  new  institutions 
are  devised  by  the  wanton  imaginations  of  men's  minds, 
which  very  fault  is  above  all  other  to  be  eschewed  in 
religion.  For  it  is  agreed  among  all  Christians,  that  the 
Apostolic  Church  as  constituted  by  the  apostles  of  our 
Lord  in  person,  under  the  guidance  of  divine  inspiration, 
and  by  them  whilst  yet  living  administered,  was  of  all 
churches  the  purest  and  most  perfect.  Furthermore 
nothing  seems  more  at  variance  with  the  common  faith  of 
Christians  than  that  the  doctrine  or  discipline  instituted 
by  the  apostles,  should  have  been  corrupted  or  any  way 
changed  by  their  immediate  successors.  For  all  confess, 
that  the  apostles  were  most  faithful  men,  and  of  conse- 
quence willed  to  ordain  none  as  their  successors,  except 
those  whose  faith  and  integrity  were  fully  approved  by 
themselves  .  personally.     Therefore  the  first  successors  of 


BEVERIDGE.  359 

the  apostles  doubtless  kept  inviolate  and  uncorrupted  the 
Church,  whose  government  had  been  entrusted  to  them  ; 
and  in  like  manner  handed  it  down  to  their  own  successors, 
and  these  again  to  others,  and  so  on  ;  insomuch  that  there 
can  exist  no  doubt,  but  that  at  least  during  two  or  three 
ages  from  the  apostles  the  Church  flourished  in  her  primi- 
tive vigour,  and,  so  to  say,  in  her  virgin  estate,  that  is,  in 
the  same  condition  in  which  she  had  been  left  by  the 
apostles  themselves ;  except  that  from  time  to  time  new 
heresies  burst  forth  even  in  those  days,  by  which  the 
Church  was  indeed  harassed,  but  in  no  way  corrupted ; 
clearly  no  more  than  the  church,  strictly  apostolic,  was 
perverted  by  those  errors,  which  arose  whilst  the  apostles 
were  yet  living.  For  they  had  scarcely  time  to  rise  up, 
before  they  were  rejected  by  the  Catholic  Church.  Which 
things  therefore  notwithstanding,  the  universal  Church 
which  followed  ever  held  that  primitive  church  to  be  most 
pure,  and,  in  refuting  all  heresies  which  afterwards  arose, 
appealed  to  her  as  the  rule  of  other  churches.  For  if 
any  one  endeavoured  to  bring  any  thing  new  into  the 
doctrine  or  discipline  of  the  Church,  those  fathers  who 
opposed  themselves  to  him,  whether  individually  or 
assembled  together  in  a  body,  sought  their  arguments,  as 
out  of  the  holy  Scriptures,  so  also  out  of  the  doctrines  and 
traditions  of  the  church  of  the  first  ages.  For  this  is  ob- 
servable in  nearly  all  acts  of  councils,  and  commentaries 
of  individual  fathers,  wherever,  that  is,  ecclesiastical  con- 
troversies are  discussed.  And  indeed  nothing  still  is 
more  rational,  nothing  certainly  more  desirable,  than 
that  all  particular  churches  at  this  day  wherever  consti- 
tuted, were  reformed  after  the  model  of  the  primitive 
church.  For  this  measure  would  immediately  cast  forth 
whatever  corruptions  have  crept  in  during  later  ages,  and 
would  restore  to  their  ancient  original  all  things  which 
are  required  for  the  true  constitution  of  a  Christian 
church." 

In  November,   1672,  Beveridge  was  instituted  to  the 
rectory  of  St  Peter's,  Cornhill,  London,  and  resigned  the 


360  BEVEKIDGE. 

vicarage  of  Ealing.  In  December,  the  year  following,  he 
was  collated  by  bishop  Henchman  to  the  prebend  of 
Chiswick,  in  St  Paul's  cathedral:  in  1679  he  took  his  DD 
degree;  and  in  November,  1681,  he  was  made  archdeacon 
of  Colchester,  being  collated  thereto  by  bishop  Compton. 

His  conscientious  mind,  upon  his  appointment  to  so 
important  a  cure  as  that  of  St  Peter's,  withdrew  from 
those  learned  labours  which  had  hitherto  been  his  delight, 
and  he  devoted  himself  exclusively,  with  primitive  zeal 
and  piety,  to  the  duties  of  the  pastoral  office.  His  labours 
were  incessant :  he  established  weekly  communions  and 
daily  service.  It  is  not  surprising  that  he  should  appoint 
weekly  communions,  as,  in  his  "Private  Thoughts,"  he 
thus  states  his  faith  with  regard  to  the  Holy  Eucharist : 
"  As  Baptism  thus  comes  in  the  place  of  the  Jew's  Cir- 
cumcision, so  doth  our  Lord's  Supper  answer  to  their 
Passover.  Their  Paschal  Lamb  represented  our  Saviour 
Christ,  and  the  sacrificing  of  it,  the  shedding  of  His 
Blood  upon  the  cross ;  and  as  the  passover  was  the  memo- 
rial of  the  Israelites'  redemption  from  Egypt's  bondage, 
(Ex.  xii.  14.)  so  is  the  Lord's  Supper  the  memorial  of  our 
redemption  from  the  slavery  of  sin,  and  assertion  into 
Christian  liberty;  or,  rather,  it  is  a  solemn  and  lively 
representation  of  the  death  of  Christ,  and  offering  it  again 
to  God,  as  an  atonement  for  sin,  and  reconciliation  to  His 
favour. 

"  So  that  I  believe  this  Sacrament  of  the  Lord's  Supper, 
under  the  gospel,  succeeds  to  the  right  of  sacrificing  under 
the  law,  and  is  properly  called  the  Christian  Sacrifice,  as 
representing  the  Sacrifice  of  Christ  upon  the  cross." 

In  another  place,  after  referring  to  the  sacrifices  and 
offerings  of  the  Jews,  he  remarks,  "  there  were  many  such 
ways,  whereby  the  people  of  God,  in  those  days,  were 
constantly  put  in  mind  of  what  the  Saviour  of  the  world 
was  to  do,  and  suffer  for  them.  All  which  are  now  laid 
aside,  and  only  this  one  Sacrament  of  His  last  supper, 
instituted  by  Himself,  in  the  room  of  them.  This  is  now 
our  Christian  shewbread,  whereby  we  '  shew  the  Lord's 


BEVERIDGE.  361 

death  till  He  come.'  This  is  our  burnt-offering,  our  sin- 
offering,  our  trespass-offering,  our  thank-offering,  our  meat- 
offering, our  drink-offering,  and  all  the  offerings  required 
of  us,  whereby  to  commemorate  our  blessed  Saviour,  and 
what  He  hath  done  for  us ;  and,  therefore,  as  the  Jews 
were  punctual  and  constant  in  observing  all  things  pre- 
scribed to  them,  for  the  same  end  we  certainly  ought  to 
do  this  as  often  as  we  can :  this  one  thing,  which  answers 
the  end  of  all  their  offerings,  and  yet  hath  neither  the 
trouble,  nor  the  charges,  nor  the  difficulty  of  any  one  of 
them." 

His  exhortations  to  his  people  to  attend  daily  service 
were  very  urgent.  He  observes  in  his  sermon  "  On  the 
Advantage  of  Public  Prayer,"  that  "  the  more  pleasing 
any  duty  is  to  God,  the  more  profitable  it  is  to  those  who 
do  it.  And  therefore  He  having  so  often,  both  by  word 
and  deed,  manifested  Himself  well-pleased  with  the  public 
or  common  service  which  His  people  perform  to  Him,  we 
cannot  doubt  but  they  always  receive  proportionable  ad- 
vantage from  it.  The  Jews  call  stated  public  prayers 
Stations;  and  have  a  saying  among  them,  *  That  without 
such  stations  the  world  could  not  stand.'  Be  sure  no 
people  have  any  ground  to  expect  public  peace  and  tran- 
quillity, without  praising  and  praying  publicly  unto  Him, 
who  alone  can  give  it.  But  if  all  the  people  (suppose  of 
this  nation)  should  every  day  with  one  heart  and  mouth 
join  together  in  our  common  supplications  to  Almighty 
God,  how  happy  should  we  then  be  ?  how  free  from  dan- 
ger ?  how  safe  and  secure  under  His  protection  ?  This  is 
the  argument  which  Christ  Himself  useth,  why  'Men 
ought  always  to  pray,  and  not  to  faint ;'  in  the  parable  of 
the  unjust  judge,  who  was  at  last  prevailed  with  to  grant 
a  widow's  request,  merely  by  her  importunity  in  asking  it. 
'  And  shall  not  God,'  saith  He,  '  avenge  His  own  elect, 
which  cry  day  and  night  unto  Him,  though  He  bear  long 
with  them?  I  tell  you  that  He  will  avenge  them  speedily.' 
But  then  He  adds,  'Nevertheless,  when  the  Son  of  Man 

VOL.  II  2  h 


362  BEVERIDGE. 

coineth,  shall  He  find  faith  on  the  earth  ?'  (Luke,  xvii. 
7,  8.)  As  if  He  had  said,  God  will  most  certainly  avenge 
and  protect  those  who  cry  day  and  night,  morning  and 
evening,  to  Him.  But  men  will  not  believe  this  ;  and  that 
is  the  reason  why  there  are  so  few  who  believe  that  He 
will  hear  their  prayers,  according  to  His  promise.  But 
blessed  be  God,  though  they  be  but  few,  there  are  some, 
who  really  believe  God's  Word,  and  accordingly  pray 
every  morning  and  evening,  not  only  for  themselves,  but 
for  the  country  where  they  live,  for  all  their  governors 
both  in  church  and  state,  and  for  all  sorts  and  conditions 
of  men  among  us.  To  these  the  whole  kingdom  is  be- 
holden for  its  support  and  preservation.  If  they  should 
once  fail,  I  know  not  what  would  become  of  us.  But  so 
long  as  there  are  pious  and  devout  persons  crying  day  and 
night  to  God  for  aid  and  defence  against  our  enemies,  we 
need  not  fear  any  hurt  they  can  ever  do  us;  at  least 
according  to  God's  ordinary  course  of  dealing  in  the 
world." 

It  is  thus  that  the  character  of  Beveridge  as  a  parish 
priest  is  described  by  a  contemporary  :  "  How  powerful 
and  instructive  was  he  in  all  his  discourses  from  the 
pulpit !  How  warm  and  affectionate  in  his  private  exhor- 
tations !  How  orthodox  in  his  doctrine  !  How  regular 
and  uniform  in  the  public  worship  of  the  church !  In  a 
word,  so  zealous  was  he,  and  heavenly-minded,  in  all  the 
spiritual  exercises  of  his  parochial  function,  and  his 
labours  were  so  remarkably  crowned  with  blessing  and 
success,  that,  as  he  himself  was  justly  styled  the  great 
reviver  and  restorer  of  primitive  piety,  so  his  parish  was 
deservedly  proposed  as  the  best  model  and  pattern  for  its 
neighbours  to  copy  after." 

Equally  diligent  he  was  as  an  archdeacon,  visiting 
every  parish  in  his  archdeaconry.  In  the  year  1684  he 
succeeded  Dr  Peter  Du  Moulin  in  a  stall  in  Canterbury 
cathedral ;  and  some  time  between  the  following  year  and 
1688,  he  became  associated  with  Dr  Horneck  in  directing 
the  religious  societies  which  had  begun  to  be  formed  in 


BEVERIDGE.  :>03 

London,  and  which  soon  extended  to  different  parts  of  the 
country.  They  were  intended  at  first  to  stop  the  progress 
of  popery  by  piety  and  prayer,  although  they  were  looked 
upon  with  jealousy  by  some  among  the  ultra-protestants. 
Their  object  may  be  gathered  from  the  principles  upon 
which  each  society  was  conducted.  The  members  of  this 
society  shall  heartily  endeavour,  through  God's  grace, 

1.  To  be  just  in  all  their  dealings,  even  to  an  exem- 
plary strictness. 

2.  To  pray  many  times  every  day;  remembering  our 
continual  dependence  upon  God,  both  for  spiritual  and 
temporal  things. 

3.  To  partake  of  the  Lord's  Supper  at  least  once  a 
month,  if  not  prevented  by  a  reasonable  impediment. 

4.  To  practise  the  profoundest  meekness  and  humility. 

5.  To  watch  against  censuring  others. 

6.  To  accustom  themselves  to  holy  thoughts  in  all 
places. 

7.  To  be  helpful  one  to  another. 

8.  To  exercise  tenderness,  patience,  and  compassion, 
towards  all  men. 

9.  To  make  reflections  on  themselves  when  they  read 
the  Holy  Bible,  or  other  good  books,  and  when  they  hear 
sermons. 

10.  To  shun  all  foreseen  occasions  of  evil ;  as  evil 
company,  known  temptations,  &c. 

11.  To  think  often  on  the  different  estates  of  the  glori- 
fied and  the  damned  in  the  unchangeable  eternity  to 
which  we  are  hastening. 

12.  To  examine  themselves  every  night,  what  good  or 
evil  they  have  done  in  the  day  past. 

13.  To  keep  a  private  fast  once  a  month  (especially 
near  their  approach  to  the  Lord's  table),  if  at  their  own 
disposal;  or  to  fast  from  some  meals  when  they  may 
conveniently. 

14.  To  mortify  the  flesh,  with  its  affections  and  lusts. 

15.  To  advance  in  heavenly-mindedness,  and  in  all 
grace, 


864  BEVERIDGE. 

16.  To  shun  spiritual  pride,  and  the  effects  of  it,  as 
railing,  anger,  peevishness,  and  impatience  of  contradic- 
tion, and  the  like. 

17.  To  pray  for  the  whole  society  in  their  private 
prayers. 

18.  To  read  pious  books  often  for  their  edification,  but 
especially  the  Holy  Bible :  and  herein  particularly, 

Matt.  v.  vi.  vii.  Luke,  xv.  xvi.  Rorn.  xii.  xiii.  Eph.  v. 
vi.     1  Thess.  v.     Rev.  i.  ii.  iii.  xxi.  xxii. 

And  in  the  Old  Testament,  Lev.  xxvi.  Deut.  xxviii. 
Isa.  liii.     Ezek.  xxxvi. 

19.  To  be  continually  mindful  of  the  great  obligation 
of  this  special  profession  of  religion ;  and  to  walk  so  cir- 
cumspectly, that  none  may  be  offended  or  discouraged 
from  it  by  what  they  may  see  in  them  ;  nor  occasion  given 
to  any  to  speak  reproachfully  of  it. 

20.  To  shun  all  manner  of  affectation  and  moroseness  ; 
and  be  of  a  civil  and  obliging  deportment  to  all  men. 

Thus  the  object  of  these  societies,  in  the  direction  of 
which  Dr  Beveridge  held  so  conspicuous  a  place,  was,  first 
and  principally,  to  promote  edification  and  personal  piety 
in  their  several  members,  for  which  purpose  their  rules 
appear  to  have  been  well  calculated.  They  did  not,  how- 
ever, confine  themselves  to  this  single  design,  but  endea- 
voured to  promote  piety  in  others  in  various  ways.  For 
this  purpose  they  procured  sermons  to  be  preached  every 
Sunday  evening  in  many  of  the  largest  churches  in  the 
city,  either  by  way  of  preparation  for  the  Lord's  Supper, 
or  to  engage  communicants  to  a  suitable  holiness  of  life 
after  partaking  of  that  sacrament,  which  was  also  adminis- 
tered in  many  churches  every  Sunday.  They  further 
extended  their  charity  to  deserving  objects  in  all  parts  of 
London  and  its  suburbs ;  and  by  the  pecuniary  collections 
which  they  procured  to  be  made,  many  clergymen  were 
maintained  to  read  prayers  in  so  many  places,  and  at  so 
many  different  hours,  that  devout  persons  might  have  that 
comfort  at  every  hour  of  the  day.  Among  other  benefits 
which  resulted  from  these  religious  associations,  was  the 


BEVERIDGE.  365 

institution  of  societies  for  reformation  of  manners,  and 
the  establishment  of  the  two  venerable  societies  for  Pro- 
moting Christian  Knowledge  at  home  as  well  as  abroad, 
and  for  Propagating  the  Gospel  in  Foreign  Parts  ;  both  of 
which  subsist  to  this  day  with  increasing  activity  and 
usefulness. 

To  the  revolution  of  1688  Dr  Beveridge  gave  his 
adhesion.  The  question  of  submitting  to  the  government 
de  facto  was  a  difficult  one,  and  while  some  of  the  most 
orthodox  of  our  divines  declined  the  oath  of  allegiance 
to  one  whom  they  regarded  as  a  usurper,  carrying  with 
them  the  reputation  of  devotedness  to  their  spiritual  duties 
and  indifference  to  their  secular  interests ;  others,  like 
Dr  Beveridge,  as  devoted  and  as  disinterested,  took  a 
different  view  of  their  duty,  and  to  escape  the  miseries  of 
popery,  acquiesced  in  the  revolution  when  it  had  been 
effected.  The  latter  underwent  trials  as  well  as  the  non- 
jurors :  to  generous  minds  it  is  grievous  to  have  sordid 
motives  attributed  to  them  to  account  for  their  conduct, 
and  to  affectionate  hearts  the  disruption  of  old  friendships, 
occasioned  by  differences  of  opinion,  is  peculiarly  painful. 
The  temporary  association  with  uncongenial  spirits,  also, 
must  have  been  anything  but  agreeable ;  and  there  are  few 
who  could  have  been  less  congenial  to  Dr  Beveridge  than 
such  men  as  Tillotson  and  Burnet,  with  whom,  up  to  a 
certain  point,  he  was  now  compelled  to  act.  The  minds 
of  men  had  been  agitated  by  the  political  revolution, 
and  their  principles  were  shaken ;  Tillotson  and  Burnet, 
therefore,  thought  this  a  fitting  opportunity  to  revolu- 
tionize the  Church,  by  the  sacrifice  of  catholic  practice, 
and  the  adoption  of  ultra-protestant  principles,  making 
the  breach  wider  between  the  church  of  England  and 
the  church  of  Rome,  and  vainly  hoping  to  conciliate 
the  multitudinous  sects  of  ultra-protestants.  The  desire 
was  to  retreat,  as  far  as  possible,  from  all  positive, 
objective,  and  dogmatic  theology,  and  to  form  a  politic 
union  between  parties  who  could  not  be  united  by  a  bond 
2  2h 


366  BEVERIDGE. 

of  love,  but  might  be  united  by  a  bond  of  common  hatred, 
— the  hatred  of  popery.  It  was  attempted  at  first  to  carry 
this  point  by  act  of  parliament ;  but  the  church  of  England 
was  not  reduced  as  yet  to  its  present  state  of  degradation, 
nor  would  the  majority  of  her  bishops  have  consented  to 
parliamentary  legislation  on  that  point.  The  non-jurors 
were  strong  in  principle,  and  they  would  have  been  so 
increased  in  point  of  numbers,  had  parliament  attempted 
to  interfere  with  the  internal  arrangements  of  the  Church, 
that  the  impolicy  of  such  a  proceeding  would  have  been 
apparent,  even  if  better  principles  had  not  prevailed  in 
parliament  itself.  Parliament  declined  to  interfere  until 
convocation  had  been  consulted  :  both  houses  presented 
an  address  to  the  king,  praying,  that  "  according  to  the 
ancient  practice  and  usage  of  this  kingdom  in  time  of 
parliament,  his  majesty  would  be  graciously  pleased  to 
issue  forth  his  writs,  as  soon  as  conveniently  might  be, 
for  calling  a  convocation  of  this  kingdom,  to  be  advised 
with  in  ecclesiastical  matters."  A  sentiment  of  this 
nature,  entertained  so  cordially  by  the  house  of  commons, 
from  which  it  emanated,  was  of  course  responded  to  by 
the  clergy,  and  Tillotson  yielded  to  the  necessity  of  the 
case.  To  make  all  arrangements  requisite  for  the  convo- 
cation, a  commission  was  issued  on  the  13th  of  September, 
1689,  to  ten  bishops  and  twenty  other  divines,  requiring 
"  them  to  prepare  such  alterations  of  the  liturgy  and 
canons,  and  such  proposals  for  the  reformation  of  the 
ecclesiastical  courts,  and  to  consider  such  other  matters  as 
might  most  conduce  to  the  good  order  and  edification  and 
unity  of  the  church  of  England."  The  name  of  Beveridge 
appeared  in  the  commission.  By  those  who  were  the 
authors  of  the  movement  it  was  proposed  that  the  follow- 
ing changes  should  be  made  : 

Chanting  to  be  discontinued. 

Certain  select  psalms  to  be  read  on  Sundays  ;  but  the 
daily  course  not  to  be  altered. 

The  omission  of  the  apocryphal  lessons,  and  of  some 
from  the  Old  Testament. 


BEVERIDGE.  367 

A  rubric  on  the  usefulness  of  the  sign  of  the  cross  in 
baptism.  The  use  of  it  to  be  omitted  altogether  when 
desired. 

The  sacramental  elements  to  be  administered  in  pews, 
to  those  who  might  object  to  kneeling. 

A  rubric  declaring  that  Lent  fasts  consisted  in  extra- 
ordinary acts  of  devotion,  not  in  distinctions  of  meats  ; 
and  another  to  explain  the  meaning  of  the  Ember 
weeks. 

The  rubric  enjoining  the  daily  reading  or  hearing  of 
common  prayer  on  the  clergy  to  be  changed  into  an 
exhortation. 

The  Absolution  to  be  read  by  deacons ;  the  word 
minister  being  substituted  for  priest;  and  the  words 
"  remission  of  sins"  omitted  as  not  very  intelligible. 

The  Gloria  Patri  not  to  be  repeated  at  the  end  of 
every  psalm. 

In  the  Te  Deum,  the  words  only  begotten  Son,  substi- 
tuted for  Thine  honourable,  true,  and  only  Son. 

The  138th  psalm  to  be  substituted  for  the  Benedicite  ; 
and  other  psalms  for  the  Benedictus  and  Nunc  Dimittis. 

The  versicles  after  the  Lord's  Prayer  to  be  read 
kneeling ;  and  after  the  words  "  Give  peace,  &c,"  an 
answer  promissory,  on  the  part  of  the  people,  of  keeping 
God's  law:  the  old  response  being  supposed  by  the 
commissioners  to  savour  of  too  strong  a  view  of  predes- 
tination. 

All  titles  of  the  king  and  queen  to  be  omitted,  and 
the  word  "  Sovereign"  only  used. 

In  the  prayer  for  the  king,  the  clause,  "  Grant  that 
he  may  vanquish,  &c,"  changed  into,  "  Prosper  all  his 
righteous  undertakings  against  Thy  enemies." 

The  words,  "  who  worketh  great  marvels,"  changed 
into,  "  who  alone  art  the  author  of  all  good  gifts ;"  and 
the  words,  "  the  holy  Spirit  of  Thy  grace,"  substituted 
for  "  the  healthful  Spirit  of  Thy  grace."  The  reason 
assigned  for  the  latter  was  this,  that  the  word  healthful 
was  obsolete. 


368  BEVERIDGE. 

The  prayer,  "  0  God,  whose  nature  and  property," 
to  be  omitted,  as  full  of  strange  and  impertinent  ex- 
pressions. 

The  collects  to  be  revised  by  the  bishop  of  Chichester. 

If  a  minister  refused  the  surplice,  and  the  people 
desired  it,  the  bishop  to  be  at  liberty  to  appoint  another, 
providing  the  living  would  bear  it. 

Sponsors  to  be  disused,  and  children  to  be  presented 
in  the  name  of  their  parents,  if  desired. 

A  rubric  to  declare,  that  the  curses  in  the  Athanasian 
Creed  are  confined  to  those  who  deny  the  substance  of 
the  Christian  religion. 

Certain  alterations  to  be  made  in  the  Litany,  the  Com- 
munion Service,  and  the  Canons. 

Many  other  verbal  alterations  were  suggested,  and 
several  things  were  left  to  the  care  of  Tenison. 

Such  were  the  alterations  proposed,  and  it  is  surpris- 
ing, as  well  as  satisfactory,  to  find  that  much  would  now 
be  freely  tolerated  even  by  ultra-protestants,  which  the 
liberal  churchmen  of  the  revolution  were  prepared  to 
concede.  The  convocation  assembled,  and  Dr  Beveridge 
was  appointed  to  preach  the  Concio  ad  elerum ;  when  he 
hesitated  not  to  take  the  opportunity  of  declaring  against 
any  concessions  or  alterations.  His  whole  discourse, 
grounded  on  the  text,  1  Cor.  xi.  16,  "  If  any  man  seem 
to  be  contentious,  we  have  no  such  custom,  neither  the 
churches  of  God,"  is  an  able  argument  to  this  effect. 

The  convocation  met  in  the  month  of  December, 
and  the  business  that  first  engaged  their  attention,  the 
appointment  of  a  prolocutor  in  the  lower  house,  fur- 
nished a  favourable  opportunity  for  trying  the  strength 
of  the  two  contending  parties,  and  bringing  all  their 
differences,  whether  ecclesiastical  or  civil,  to  an  issue. 
The  court  party  proposed  Dr  Tillotson  as  their  candidate. 
The  candidate  of  the  opposite  party  was  Dr  Jane,  dean  of 
Gloucester,  and  regius  professor  of  divinity  at  Oxford, 
who  was  known  to  be  a  divine  of  great  reading  and 
resolution.    He  was  elected  by  a  large  majority;  and  when 


•BEVERIDGE.  369 

the  bishops  sent  down  an  address  acknowledging  the 
protection  his  majesty  had  afforded  to  religion  in  general, 
and  especially  to  their  own  established  form  of  it,  but  so 
expressed  as  to  include  the  church  of  England  under  the 
general  title  of  protestant  churches,  the  lower  house  re- 
quired the  expression  to  be  altered,  on  the  avowed 
principle  that  they  disowned  all  communion  with  foreign 
protestants.  The  case  was  too  manifest  to  be  misunder- 
stood :  and  the  king  readily  adopted  the  only  alternative 
remaining  to  him,  of  discontinuing  the  session. 

The  independent  conduct  of  Dr  Beveridge  did  not  at 
once  alienate  from  him  the  revolutionary  court.     Among 
the  more  eminent  of  the  clergy,  most  of  those  who  held 
sound  church    principles    had  been  driven    from    their 
posts,  and  the  administration  of  the  church  was  now  for 
the  most  part  in  the  hands  of  men  prepared  for  political 
purposes  to  sacrifice  every  church  principle.    Dr  Beveridge, 
therefore,  was  not  to  be  overlooked  by  the  revolutionary 
government :  an  attempt  was   still  made  to  bribe  him  to 
the  Dutch  interest.     In  1690  he  was  nominated  chaplain 
to  the  revolutionary  royal  family,  and  in  1691  he  was 
offered  the  bishopric  of  Bath  and  Wells.     It  was  a  diffi- 
cult point  to  settle  whether  he  could  conscientiously  accept 
the  offer  :  he  was  in  a  novel  position  in  which  he  had  no 
precedents  to  guide  him.     He  had  consented  to  the  revo- 
lution, as  several  other  sound  churchmen  did,  but  the  see 
of  Bath  and  Wells  was  not  vacant.     The  great  and  good 
Dr  Ken  had  not  been  canonically  deprived,   neither  had 
he  tendered  his  resignation.     Could  he  be  considered  as 
virtually  resigning  the  bishopric  by  not  taking  the  oaths, 
as  king  James  II.  was  regarded  as  having  virtually  abdi- 
cated the  throne  when  he  fled  the  kingdom  ?     It  may  be 
easy,  in  the  opinion  of  some,  to  answer  the  question  now, 
but  it  was  very  different  to  those  who  were  in  the  midst 
of  the  conflict.     Beveridge  consulted  archbishop  Sancroft, 
but  Sancroft,   angry  with  him  for  having  consented  to  the 
revolution,  gave  him  a  sarcastic  rather  than  a  satisfactory 


370  BEVERIDGE. 

answer ;  but  Dr  Beveridge,  after  weighing  all  the  circum- 
stances of  the  case,  at  the  end  of  three  weeks  refused  to 
accept  a  bishopric  which  was  not  canonically  vacant.  He 
acted  nobly.  He  did  not  violate  his  conscience  to  please 
those  with  whom  he  was  politically  acting,  and  who  must 
have  plied  him  with  arguments  to  justify  such  conduct  as 
they  themselves  adopted :  the  non-jurors  only  despised 
him  for  not  going  further,  and  he  met  with  no  sympathy 
from  them.  But  he  pursued  his  own  course ;  while  he 
submitted  to  the  government,  he  would  not  sanction  an 
unjust  and  uncanonical  proceeding,  nor  would  he  usurp 
the  office  or  eat  the  bread  of  another.  William  and  his 
government  were  now  exasperated  against  him,  and  deter- 
mined that  he  should  receive  no  other  preferment  from 
them.  He  continued  for  thirteen  years  in  his  honourable 
office  of  parish  priest,  complacent,  doubtless,  in  the  happy 
thought  that  he  had  sacrificed  wealth  and  high  station  to 
sound  church  principles,  and  though  he  was  misunder- 
stood by  the  two  extremes,  the  integrity  of  his  heart  was 
known  to  the  God  whom  he  loved  and  served.  He  did 
not  relax  in  his  laborious  duties,  but  discharged  them 
with  an  assiduity  best  evinced  by  the  general  success 
which  attended  his  ministry. 

In  1701 — 2,  Dr  Beveridge  was  proposed  as  prolocutor 
of  the  lower  house  of  convocation  by  the  whigs,  who  shewed 
their  wisdom  in  selecting  a  man  so  moderate  in  his  poli- 
tical, while  he  was  so  decided  in  his  church,  principles  ; 
but  the  intrigues  of  Atterbury  procured  the  election  of  Dr 
Woodward,  dean  of  Sarum.  Beveridge  was  advanced  in 
years  before  he  had  another  offer  of  a  bishopric.  He  was 
consecrated  on  the  6th  of  July,  1704,  having  been  elected 
to  the  see  of  St  Asaph.  With  his  usual  conscientious 
diligence  he  commenced  his  new  duties,  and  shewed  that 
age  had  not  weakened  his  faculties.  A  parish  priest  him- 
self, he  knew  how  to  sympathize  with  parish  priests,  and 
immediately  addressed  himself,  as  chief  pastor,  to  a  subject 
bearing  upon  the  welfare  equally  of  the  clergy  and  laity. 


BEVERIDGE.  37] 

He  addressed  a  letter  to  his  clergy,  in  which  he  recom- 
mended to  them  the  duty  of  catechising ;  and  in  order  to 
enable  them  to  do  this  the  more  effectually,  he,  in  the 
course  of  the  same  year,  sent  them  a  plain  and  easy  expla- 
nation of  the  catechism  of  the  church  of  England.  How 
readily  would  the  clergy  give  heed  to  the  bishop  who  could 
appeal  to  his  own  practice,  to  prove  the  practical  wisdom 
of  his  advice ;  how  gratefully  would  they  accept  the  assist- 
ance which  he  offered  to  enable  the  least  experience  to 
act  upon  his  suggestion.  The  introductory  paragraph  of 
his  address  to  his  clergy  affords  a  pleasing  evidence  of  the 
deep  view  which  bishop  Beveridge  took  of  his  high  and 
responsible  office. 

"  Brethren,  beloved  in  the  Lord, 

As  God  our  Saviour,  the  head  of  the  whole  Church, 
which  He  hath  purchased  with  His  blood,  hath  been 
pleased  to  call  me,  the  unworthiest  of  His  servants,  to 
take  care  of  that  part  of  it  which  He  hath  planted  in  the 
diocese  to  which  you  belong ;  so  I  verily  believe  and 
expect  that  He  will  ere  long  call  me  to  give  Him  an  account 
how  I  have  discharged  the  trust,  and  performed  the  duty, 
which  He  hath  laid  upon  me.  The  consideration  whereof 
hath  made  me  very  solicitous  and  thoughtful  what  to  do, 
and  how  I  may  behave  myself  in  this  place  and  station, 
so  that  I  may  appear  before  Him  at  that  day  with  joy, 
and  not  with  shame  and  grief." 

In  the  subsequent  part  of  this  address  he  earnestly  and 
affectionately  presses  the  duty  of  frequent  and  public 
catechising ;  and  in  conclusion,  tells  his  clergy,  that 
11  having  spent  some  thoughts  about  catechising  in  general, 
so  as  to  attain  the  end  of  it  in  the  way  that  is  here  pro- 
posed ;  and  having  accordingly  drawn  up  a  short  explica- 
tion of  the  catechism  which  our  Church  hath  set  forth, 
he  thought  good  to  present  them  with  it,  as  a  testimony 
of  his  readiness  to  contribute  what  he  can  towards  the 
laying  the  foundation  in  some,  as  well  as  to  the  building 
up  others,  of  the  diocese  in  our  most  holy  faith." 


372  BEVERIDGE. 

Nor  did  the  good  bishop  forget  his  duties  as  a  peer  of 
the  realm  :  he  attended  in  the  house  of  lords  as  often  as 
the  duties  of  his  bishopric  would  permit  him ;  on  every 
occasion  evincing  himself  a  steady  defender  of  the  rights 
and  privileges  of  the  Church.  He  foresaw  the  danger 
which  threatened  true  religion,  by  the  union  of  England 
and  Scotland,  and  he  steadily  opposed  a  measure  by  which 
the  interests  of  the  Church  were  sacrificed  to  political 
expediency,  and  a  permanency  given  to  the  presbyterian 
establishment.  He  appeared  in  the  house  of  lords  for  the 
last  time  on  the  20th  of  January,  1707-8,  and  died  on 
the  following  5th  of  March. 

Among  the  charitable  bequests  of  this  Anglican  saint, 
he  left  £20  a  year  to  the  curate  of  Mount  Sorrel,  and  the 
vicarage  of  Barrow,  on  condition  that  prayers  should  be 
offered  every  day  morning  and  evening  in  the  chapel  and 
parish  church  respectively ;  together  with  the  sum  of  forty 
shillings  to  be  divided  equally  at  Christmas-eve  among 
such  poor  housekeepers  of  Barrow,  as  the  minister  and 
churchwardens  should  agree,  regard  being  especially  had 
to  those  u'ho  had  most  constantly  attended  the  daily  prayers 
and  the  sacrament  of  the  Lord's  Supper  the  preceding  year. 
We  presume  that  this  bequest  is  enjoyed,  and  these  duties 
performed,  at  the  present  time.  He  left  his  library  in 
trust  to  his  wife's  nephew,  Dr  William  Stanley,  to  be 
placed  in  the  cathedral  church  of  St  Paul,  as  the  founda- 
tion of  a  library  for  the  benefit  of  the  clergy  of  the  city  of 
London.  To  the  society  for  Propagating  the  Gospel  in 
Foreign  Parts  he  gave  the  sum  of  £100.  He  had  been 
married,  but  of  his  wife  nothing  is  known,  except  that  she 
died  before  him  without  issue. 

With  the  exception  of  a  few  occasional  sermons, 
and  the  catechism  explained,  bishop  Beveridge  never 
published  any  English  works.  But  large  quantities  of 
his  manuscripts  were  printed  by  his  executor  after  his 
death.  These  posthumous  works  consist  of  sermons, 
Thesaurus  Theologicus,  Private  Thoughts,  Treatises  on 
the  Necessity  and  Advantages  of  Public  Prayer,   and  of 


BEVERIDGE.  373 

Frequent  Communion  ;  a  defence  of  Sternhold  and  Hop- 
kin's  version  of  the  Book  of  Psalms ;  and  an  exposition 
of  the  Thirty-nine  Articles.  All  these,  together  with  the 
English  works  published  by  the  bishop  himself,  were  col- 
lected by  the  Rev  Thomas  Hartwell  Home,  in  1 8-2-4,  in 
9  vols,  8vo,  with  a  memoir  of  the  author.  They  have 
since  been  republished  in  the  library  of  Anglo-Catholic 
Theology.  Considered  as  works  never  intended  for  pub- 
lication, it  is  marvellous  that  their  blemishes  are  so  few. 
There  are,  as  we  have  observed,'  in  his  works,  occasional 
tinges  of  those  opinions  which  were  rife  in  his  younger 
years,  but  his  mind  was  too  essentially  practical  to  enter- 
tain calvinistic  notions ;  and  he  was  too  entirely  in  earnest 
in  teaching  positive  truth,  and  providing  real  food  for  his 
flock,  to  spend  his  time  and  waste  his  energies  in  the  bare 
contradiction  of  error.  His  labours  earned  for  him  the 
title  of  "  The  Restorer  and  Recoverer  of  Primitive  Piety," 
and  doubtless  are  not  lost  among  us.  He  speaks  of  the 
church  of  England  in  high  and  glowing  language,  and 
sought  to  "  establish  and  make  Jerusalem  a  praise  in  the 
earth."  He  contemplated  her  as  a  true  branch  of  the 
Church  catholic,  and  sought  to  bring  out  her  primitive 
and  catholic  character,  by  acting  up  to  her  acknowledged 
rales,  by  supplying  a  constant  round  of  daily  services  and 
frequent  communions,  exercising  a  more  vigorous  disci- 
pline, and  awakening  her  members  to  a  higher  and  holier 
estimation  of  the  'ministration  and  ordinances  of  the 
Church.  He  was  accused  by  heretics  of  "  making  many 
things  necessary  which  Scripture  speaks  not  one  word  of:" 
and  one  of  his  calumniators  observes,  "  that  though  the 
bishop  may  have  been  far  enough  from  popery,  yet  there 
are  some  things  in  him  which  are  agreeable  to  it." 

Beveridge's  Works  with  Home's  Memoir.  Preface  to  the 
edition  of  the  works  in  the  Library  of  Anglo- Catholic 
Theology.      CardweWs  Conferences. 

Beverley,  John  of,  in  Latin,  Johaxes  Beveelactis, 
vol.  II.  2  I 


374  BEVERLEY. 

was  born  of  a  noble  family  among  the  Anglo-Saxons,  at 
Harpham,  a  small  town  in  Northumberland.  He  was  a  pupil 
of  Theodore,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  and  it  is  said  that 
he  himself  became  the  instructor  of  the  venerable  Bede  ; 
but  Mabillon  thinks  that  the  tutor  of  Bede  was  another 
John  of  Beverley.  He  became  first  a  monk,  and  then  abbot, 
of  St  Hilda.  He  soon  rose  in  favour  with  Alfred,  king 
of  Northumberland,  who,  in  the  year  685,  gave  him  the 
see  of  Hagustald  or  Hexham,  and  in  687,  translated  him 
to  that  of  York.  In  704  this  prelate  founded  a  college 
at  Beverley,  for  secular  priests,  which  was  afterwards 
endowed  with  very  considerable  immunities.  Among 
other  privileges,  it  had  that  of  asylum,  or  sanctuary,  for 
debtors,  and  persons  suspected  of  capital  crimes.  Within 
it  stood  a  chair  of  stone  with  this  inscription :  "  Hsec 
sedes  lapidea  freedstool  dicitur,  i.  e.  Pacis  Cathedra,  ad 
quam  reus  fugiendo  perveniens  omnimodam  habet  securi- 
tatem."  That  is,  "  this  stone  seat,  is  called  freedstool,  i.  e. 
the  chair  of  peace,  to  which  what  criminal  soever  flies  has 
full  protection."  After  he  had  governed  the  see  of  York 
thirty-four  years,  he  divested  himself  of  his  episcopal  cha- 
racter, and  retired  to  Beverley  ;  and  four  years  after  died 
in  the  odour  of  sanctity,  on  the  7th  of  May,  7 31.  About 
the  middle  of  the  16th  century,  says  Mr  Camden,  (m  the 
year  1564,)  upon  opening  a  grave,  they  met  with  a  vault 
of  squared  free-stone,  fifteen  feet  long,  and  two  feet  broad 
at  the  head,  but  at  the  feet  a  foot  ancfa  half  broad.  With- 
in it  was  a  sheet  of  lead  four  feet  long,  and  in  that  the 
ashes,  and  six  beads,  (whereof  three  crumbled  to  dust 
with  a  touch,  and  of  three  remaining,  two  were  supposed 
to  be  cornelian)  with  three  great  brass  pins,  and  four  large 
iron  nails.  Upon  the  sheet  lay  a  leaden  plate,  with  a 
Latin  inscription  to  the  following  purpose.  In  the  year 
of  our  Lord  1188,  this  church  was  burnt  in  the  month  of 
September,  on  the  night  following  the  feast  of  St  Matthew 
the  apostle  ;  and  in  the  year  1197,  on  the  6th  of  the  Ides 
of  March,   enquiry  was  made  after  the  relics  of  St  John 


BEZA.  373 

in  this  place,  and  these  bones  were  found  in  the  east  part 
of  the  sepulchre,  and  were  buried  here,  and  there  also 
dust  mixed  with  mortar  was  found  and  buried.  The  day 
of  his  death  was  appointed  a  festival  by  a  synod  held  at 
London,  in  1416.  Bede,  and  other  writers,  ascribe  several 
miracles  to  John  of  Beverley.  Between  three  and  four 
hundred  years  after  his  death,  his  body  was  taken  up  by 
Alfric,  archbishop  of  York,  and  placed  in  a  shrine  richly 
adorned  with  silver,  gold,  and  precious  stones.  We  are 
told  that  William  the  Conqueror,  when  he  ravaged 
Northumberland  with  a  numerous  army,  spared  Beverley 
alone,  out  of  a  religious  veneration  for  St  John  of  that 
place.  This  prelate  wrote  some  pieces,  which  are  men- 
tioned by  Bale  and  Pitts.  Pro  Luca  exponenda.  Homi- 
liae  in  Evangelia.  Epistolae  ad  Hildam  Abbatissam. 
Epistolse  ad  Herebaldum,  Andenum  et  Bertinum. — Bede. 
Stubbs.     Godwin.     Camden. 

Beza,  Theodore  de,  was  born  at  Vezelai,  on  the  24th 
of  June,  1519.  He  was  sent  to  Paris  at  an  early  period 
of  life,  and  placed  under  the  protection  of  an  uncle  who 
was  abbot  of  Froidmond.  In  15*28  he  was  sent  to  Orleans 
as  a  pupil  to  Melchior  Wolmar,  a  distinguished  scholar, 
addicted  to  the  reformation ;  and  when  Wolmar,  through 
the  interest  of  the  queen  of  Navarre,  was  appointed  Greek 
professor  at  Bourges,  he  was  followed  thither  by  his  pupil 
Beza,  who  remained  under  his  tuition  for  six  years.  In 
1539  Beza  took  the  degree  of  licentiate  in  law  at  Orleans  ; 
after  which  he  returned  to  Paris.  Under  the  guidance  of 
Wolmar,  Beza's  genius  had  been  duly  cultivated,  and  he 
was  distinguished  in  all  the  branches  of  elegant  literature 
and  philosophy  :  but  for  some  reason  or  other,  his  morals 
were  not  attended  to  by  the  protestant  professor,  for  at 
Paris  he  became  so  wild  and  dissipated,  that  the  name  of 
Beza  was  first  known  to  fame  as  the  author  of  some  clever, 
but  very  licentious,  poems.  Of  this  publication,  he,  of 
course,  repented  deeply  in  after  life,  and  an  ungenerous 
use  was  made  of  it  by  his  opponents,  who  ought  to  have 


376  BEZA. 

remembered  that  at  this  very  time  he  became  practically 
acquainted  with  the  abuses  existing  in  the  Church,  and  of 
the  absolute  need  there  was  of  a  reformation.     The  licen- 
tious young  man  was  supported  by  the  revenues  of  the 
priory  of  Longjumeau,  and  of  another  benefice,  without 
being  in  orders,   and,  as  intellectually  he  was  inclined  to 
the  reformation,  most  probably  without  intention  of  taking 
them.      The   privilege   of  commendam   was   indeed,   as 
Mr  Smedley  observes,  one  of  the  most  fruitful  sources  of 
disorder    at    this  time  in  the    Church.     In   the  earlier 
Christian  church,   whenever  a  hostile  irruption,  a  famine, 
or  any  other  public  calamity,  had  so  far  diminished  the 
revenues  of  an  episcopal  see,   or  a  religious  house,  as  to 
render  them  insufficient  for  the  support  of  its  ordinary 
head,   the  metropolitan  recommended  the  pastoral  charge 
to  some  neighbouring  ecclesiastic,  who  accepted  the  addi- 
tional burden   gratuitously,  till  a  more  favourable  season 
permitted  a  re-establishment  of  the  suspended  dignity. 
It  is  easy  to  perceive  how  this  charitable   custom,   at  first 
so   praiseworthy,    degenerated   in   times   less   pure   into 
abuse.     The  chief  revenues  of  the  cardinals,  whom  the 
duties  of  the  sacred  college  detained  in  permanent  abode 
at  Rome,  were  at  first  derived  from  prebends  or  other 
benefices  without  cure  of  souls  ;  but  ambition  and  avarice 
gradually  fostered  the  desire  of  exalted  station   and  over- 
flowing coffers,  and  by  the  perversion  of  commendams, 
the  richest  sees  were  often  accumulated  in  plurality  upon 
ecclesiastics  by  whom  they  could  never  be  visited.     The 
convenient  license  thus  assumed  by  the  court  of  Rome 
was  not  likely  to  be  long  unimitated  by  secular  princes  ; 
and,  in  France,   the  wealthiest  benefices  were  abundantly 
showered   down  upon  those,  whose  connexion  with  the 
blood  royal,  or  whose  cabinet  duties  as  ministers  of  state, 
attached  them  to  the  court ;  even  women  were  admitted 
as  Eveques  Laiz,  and  either  sold  their  bishoprics  or  pro- 
vided substitutes,   or  Custodines  as  they  were  termed,  to 
perform  the  clerical  offices  for  the  least  possible  stipend. 
Similar  abuses  prevailed  among  the  inferior  clergy ;  and 


BEZA.  377 

dispensations  were  so  readily  accorded,  that,  unless  in 
rare  instances,  the  population  at  large  lived  either  without 
any  pastors  at  all,  or  with  curates  unworthy  of  the  name. 
Religion,  therefore,  was  sought  for  in  vain,  and  its  place 
was  usurped  by  ignorance  and  superstition. 

Although  Beza  was  thus  enabled  to  expend  the  revenues 
of  the  Church  in  riotous  living,  a  considerable  fortune,  to 
which  he  succeeded  on  the  death  of  an  elder  brother,  made 
him  independent  of  outward  circumstances,  and  enabled 
him  without  inconvenience  to  quit  the  Gallican  church, 
when  he  determined  to  act  on  a  resolution  most  probably 
formed  in  the  school-room  of  Melchior  Wolmar,  and  of 
which  he  was  reminded  by  a  serious  illness.  He  had  long 
promised  his  mistress,  Claudia  Denosse,  with  whom  he  had 
lived  for  four  years,  to  marry  her ;  but  continually  deferred 
the  fulfilment  of  his  promise,  as  it  would  have  vacated  his 
ecclesiastical  preferments.  His  conscience  having  been 
pricked  in  his  illness,  he  perceived  that  he  must  resign 
either  his  mistress  or  his  livings  :  he  generously  deter- 
mined on  the  latter  course,  and  his  mistress  became  his 
wife.  No  impediment  now  existing,  he  determined  to 
declare  himself  on  the  side  of  the  reformation,  and  having 
been  married  at  Geneva,  on  the  24th  of  October,  1548, 
he  went  to  Tubingen  to  visit  his  old  tutor  Melchior 
Wolmar.  He  then  settled  as  Greek  professor  at  Lau- 
sanne, where  he  remained  for  ten  years,  and  amused  his 
leisure  moments  by  the  publication  of  a  tragi-comedy, 
Le  Sacrifice  d'Abraham. 

He  now  came  under  the  influence  of  the  master  mind 
of  Calvin,  to  whom  he  frequently  paid  homage  during  his 
vacations,  and  who  immediately  availed  himself  of  the 
poetical  powers  of  his  disciple.  The  calvinistic  system  has 
rejected  all  the  ancient  forms  of  religion,  but  to  it  is  to 
be  traced  the  origin  of  congregational  psalmody.  This 
important  part  of  Genevan  worship  was  supplied  from 
France.  Clement  Marot,  says  Mr  Smedley,  who  held  a 
post  about  the  royal  household  of  France,  had  hitherto 
•2  i2 


878  BEZA. 

dedicated  his  facile  powers  of  elegant  versification  to  sub- 
jects always  light,  frequently  licentious.     Notwithstanding 
the  freedom  both  of  his  life  and  writings,  he  early  em- 
braced the  reformed  religion  ;   was  imprisoned  for  heresy 
during    the  captivity  of  Francis  I  in  Madrid,  and  twice 
afterwards  compelled  to  take  refuge  in  Geneva  to  escape 
similar  arrest.     It  was  about  the  year  1540  that,  renounc- 
ing his  former  themes,  he  put  forth  a  metrical  French 
version  of  the  first  fifty  psalms  ;  and  in  the  dedication  to 
Francis  I,   after  drawing  a   parallel    between  that  king 
and  David,  which,  it  may  be  thought,  must  have  cost  him 
no   slight  struggle  with  conscience  to  compose,  he  very 
strikingly   exhibited    the    grotesque  mixture  of  ethnical 
and  Christian  images,  at  that  time  present  to  his  fancy. 
God,  he  says,  was  the  Apollo  who  tuned  David's  harp ;  the 
Holy  Spirit  was  his   Calliope ;   his  two-forked  Parnassus 
was  the  summit  of  the  crystalline  heaven ;  and  his  Hippo- 
crene  was  the  deep  fountain  of  grace.     But,  alas !  the  vein 
of  Marot  flowed  quite  diversely  from  that  of  the  Hebrew 
poet-king,  and  when  he  ceased  to  sing  of  earthly  love  he 
ceased  also  to  sing  melodiously.     The  model   which   he 
furnished    was   faithfully   copied,   not  many  years  after- 
wards, by  the  framers  of  our  English  psalmody ;   and  the 
merits  of  the  French  bard  may  be   accurately  estimated, 
when  we  add,  that,  in  his  devotional  strains,  Marot  was  the 
Apollo,  the  Calliope,  the  Parnassus,   and  the  Hippocrene 
of  Sternhold  and  Hopkins.     Nevertheless,   bald  as  was 
Marot's  version,  it  was  the  work  of  a  popular  court-poet; 
it  was   in  rhyme    easily  adapted   to  the   vaudevilles   and 
ballad-tunes  of  the  day ;   and  the  translator,  perhaps,  was 
not  a  little  surprised  to  hear  every  chamber  of  the  palace, 
and    every    street   in    Paris,    re-echoing   with  his  sacred 
songs,   frequently  accompanied  by  the  fiddle,  soon  after 
their  publication.      As  no  attempt  was  made  to  introduce 
them  into  the  ritual  of  the  Church,  the  Sorbonne  approved 
their   orthodoxy,    and   thus   unwittingly   gave  additional 
keenness  to  a  weapon  soon  to  be  turned  against   them- 
selves. 


BEZA.  379 

Calvin  had  banished  the  ancient  ecclesiastical  music, 
and  it  is  probable  that  he  soon  perceived  the  neces- 
sity of  a  substitute,  which  might  impart  some  warmth 
to  the  general  frigidity  of  his  service.  Marot's  version 
appeared  most  seasonably  for  his  purpose.  It  was  so 
plain  and  prosaic  that  every  peasant  might  easily  un- 
derstand, and  commit  it  to  memory.  All  resemllance 
to  the  catholic  antiphonal  chant,  which  Calvin  rejected 
as  superstitious  and  unedifying,  was  carefully  avoided, 
by  setting  the  words  to  simple  and  monotonous  tunes, 
equally  removed  from  science  and  from  sweetness,  but 
in  which  every  individual  of  the  congregation  might 
take  a  part.  Beza  completed  the  task  which  Marot  had 
begun ;  their  joint  psalms  were  appended  to  the  cate- 
chism of  Geneva;  passed  from  the  lips  of  the  gallants  of 
France  to  those  of  the  herdsmen  of  Switzerland  and  the 
citizens  of  Flanders ;  became  one  of  the  distinguishing 
characters  of  Calvinism ;  and  called  down  a  severe  inter- 
dict from  the  faculty  of  Paris,  by  which  they  had  not  long 
since  been  as  formally  sanctioned. 

It  is  curious  thus  to  trace  congregational  psalmody  to 
two  poets  who  were  distinguished  less  by  their  merit  than 
by  the  licentiousness   of  their  profane  poetry. 

In  1556,  Beza  published  his  Latin  version  of  the  Xew 
Testament,  of  which  there  were  several  subsequent 
editions ;  but  the  most  celebrated  of  the  works  which 
appeared  in  his  name,  during  his  residence  at  Lau- 
sanne, was  his  tract  De  Haereticis  a  civili  Magistratu 
Puniendis,  which  was  intended  to  vindicate  the  charac- 
ter of  his  friend  Calvin  against  Sebastian  Castalio,  who 
had  published  a  work  soon  after  the  cruel  persecution 
of  Servetus,  October  17,  1553,  under  the  title  of  Quo 
Jure,  quove  Fructu,  Haeretiei  gladio  puniendi.  Castalio 
had  in  this  work  advanced  some  of  the  leading  argu- 
ments in  favour  of  toleration,  and  Beza  appears  as  the 
advocate  for  persecution;  indeed  the  right  to  persecute 
seems  never  to  have  been  renounced  by  the  early  re- 
formers.    According  to  Dupin,  he  attempts  to  prove  these 


380  BEZA. 

three  things  :  First,  That  heretics  ought  to  be  punished. 
Secondly,  That  the  punishment  of  them  belongs  to  the 
secular  magistrate.  Thirdly,  That  one  may  condemn  them 
to  death.  These  maxims  were  attacked  by  several  writers, 
and  the  principle  on  which  Beza  supported  them,  is,  that 
a  citizen  ought  to  be  an  honest  man,  that  those  who  oppose 
the  true  religion  are  villains,  and  that  therefore  the  magis- 
trates ought  to  condemn  them.  He  confesses  one  ought 
not  to  punish  those  who  offend  more  out  of  simplicity  than 
malice  ;  but  maintains  this  general  thesis,  that  heretics 
are  to  be  put  to  death,  and  particularly  those  who  deny 
the  divinity  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  mystery  of  the  Tri- 
nity. He  considers  the  arguments  which  are  commonly 
alleged  for  toleration,  which  with  him  amount  to  the 
number  of  twelve.  Those  who  maintained  the  contrary 
affirmed,  that  the  cognizance  of  religious  affairs  did  not 
belong  to  the  magistrates.  Beza  confutes  them,  but  this 
is  a  problem  which  it  was  impossible  for  the  ultra- 
protestants  to  answer  : — if  you  have  a  right  of  punishing 
those  men  with  death,  whom  you  believe  to  be  heretics, 
why  have  not  the  catholic  princes  the  same  against  you  ? 
you  give  them  arms  against  yourselves,  if  Calvin  and 
Beza  had  been  wise,  they  would  not  have  authorized 
maxims  which  in  the  end  turned  so  much  to  their  own 
destruction. 

In  1558,  Beza  was  employed  with  Fazel  and  Jean  Bude, 
to  solicit  the  protestant  princes  of  Germany  to  use  their 
intercession  with  the  king  of  France  in  favour  of  the 
French  protestants,  and  in  this  journey  he  became  person- 
ally acquainted  with  Melancthon.  On  his  return  he  was 
persuaded  by  Calvin  to  apply  for  his  release  from  the  senate 
of  Berne  and  to  settle  at  Geneva ;  with  this  request  the 
senate  of  Berne  reluctantly  complied,  and  he  was  present- 
ed with  his  freedom  as  a  citizen  of  Geneva  in  the  month 
of  April,  1559;  in  the  following  month  he  was  admitted 
one  of  the  pastors,  and  iu  June  he  was  appointed  profes- 
sor of  theology  and  principal  or  rector  of  the  academy 
which  had  been  recently  founded  there.      The  last  situa- 


BEZA.  381 

tion  was  refused  by  Calvin,  and  at  his  suggestion  it  was 
offered  to  Beza,  by  whose  learning  and  genius  he  was 
deeply  impressed.  Calvin  had  in  Beza  from  this  time 
a  devoted  admirer,  disciple,  and  friend. 

We  next  find  him  employed  in  converting  to  Calvinism 
Anthony  king  of  Navarre,  the  father  of  Henry  IV.  The 
prince  of  Conde  and  the  king  of  Navarre  himself  applied  to 
the  council  of  Geneva  to  spare  him,  and  invited  him  to 
the  royal  residence  at  Xerac  in  Guienne.  The  genius  and 
eloquence  of  Beza  soon  made  Calvinism  popular,  and, 
abetted  by  the  queen  of  Navarre,  over  whom  he  obtained 
unbounded  influence,  he  succeeded  in  the  year  1560  in 
destroying  many  monasteries  and  churches  belonging  to 
the  establishment. 

The  celebrated  colloquy  at  Poissy  was  held  in  the  year 
1561,  before  Charles  IX,  the  queen  mother,  Catherine 
de  Medicis,  and  the  rest  of  the  French  court,  between 
the  ecclesiastics  of  the  Gallican  church  and  the  calvinistic 
ministers.  At  this  colloquy  Beza  was  distinguished  by 
the  readiness  of  his  wit,  the  flow  of  his  eloquence,  and  the 
badness  of  his  logic.  Beza  was  the  spokesman  chosen  by 
the  Huguenot  ministers,  and  was  the  chief  manager  on 
their  side. 

Xotwithstanding  the  attempts  to  come  to  an  under- 
standing with  the  Huguenots  on  the  part  of  the  Gallican 
divines,  the  colloquy  at  Poissy,  and  the  subsequent  con 
ferences,  were  brought  to  no  satisfactory  conclusion.  But 
Beza  did  not  return  immediately  to  Geneva,  for  when  he 
waited  upon  the  queen  mother,  to  take  leave,  she  claimed 
him  as  a  Frenchman,  and  entreated  that  he  would  not 
abandon  his  native  country,  while  the  slightest  opening 
seemed  to  remain  for  a  mitigation  of  religious  hostility. 
His  consent  was  the  more  readily  obtained  by  the  willing- 
ness which  the  queen  at  the  same  time  expressed  not  to 
oppose  any  obstacle  against  the  performance  of  calvinistic 
worship  in  Paris :  which  was  celebrated  accordingly, 
wholly  without  disguise,  by  large  congregations. 


382  BEZA. 

The  condition  of  France  was  at  this  time  miserably 
distracted.  Some  awful  collisions  between  the  Catholics 
and  Huguenots  occurred,  and  many  were  the  intrigues  on 
either  side  to  win  over  the  leaders  of  the  opposite  party, 
who,  with  religion  for  the  pretext,  were  too  often  influ- 
enced by  personal  motives.  Beza  profited  by  the  edict  of 
January,  1562,  and  preached  often  in  the  suburbs  of 
Paris ;  but  he  was  once  more  summoned  to  a  more  con- 
spicuous arena,  and  greatly  distinguished  himself  at  the 
conference  in  the  council  chamber  at  St  Germain,  where 
the  ecclesiastics  of  the  church  of  France  were  again  assem- 
bled by  the  queen  mother,  to  dispute  with  the  Huguenot 
ministers  on  the  use  of  images.  Beza  spoke  on  the  first 
day  for  two  hours,  and  the  controversy,  as  Mr  Smedley 
remarks,  was  conducted  with  some  playfulness  and  good 
humour :  the  latter  was  a  desirable  object,  but  playfulness 
is  scarcely  to  be  praised  on  so  solemn  an  occasion.  The 
Romanists  were  far  from  agreeing  among  themselves. 
Despence,  Boutillier,  Picherel  and  Salignac,  altogether 
abandoned  the  defence  of  representations  of  the  Trinity, 
and  of  any  of  the  three  Persons  of  the  Godhead ;  and 
Beza  has  most  graphically  described  the  distress  of  the 
unhappy  cardinal  de  Tournon,  when  he  perceived  the 
tendency  of  their  speeches^  The  president,  he  says,  as 
Salignac  went  on,  first  groaned  inwardly,  then  grumbled 
openly,  next  rose  from  his  chair  and  walked  to  the  fire- 
place, and  at  last  fairly  buried  himself  out  of  sight 
in  the  farthest  corner  of  the  room.  Montluc  supported 
the  same  opinions  "  magnificently,"  founding  his  argu- 
ments on  Scripture  and  on  the  fathers,  and  maintaining 
his  position  by  correct  and  powerful  reasoning.  He  com- 
plained also  of  a  personal  grievance  inflicted  upon  himself 
by  the  Sorbonne.  It  seems  that  the  faculty,  without  due 
respect  to  his  episcopal  character,  had  condemned  a  book 
written  by  him  for  the  use  of  his  clergy  in  the  diocese  of 
Valence,  and  containing  sound  and  Christian  doctrine ; 
while  at  the  same  moment  it  had  authorized  a  very  stupid 
and  silly  rhyming  volume,  by  one  Arthur  Desire,  which, 


BEZA.  383 

among  other  evil  matters  had  thus  falsified  the  second 
commandment  in  doggrel : — 

"  Thou  shalt  make  a  graven  Image, 

At  your  choice  of  every  kind, 
Honour  it  and  pay  it  homage, 

God  in  that  great  joy  shall  find." 

The  bishop  of  Valence,  and  the  four  doctors  who  agreed 
with  him,  then  drew  up  a  paper,  founded  on  the  above 
admissions ;  and  expressing  their  willingness  to  consent 
to  the  removal  of  all  sculptures  and  paintings  of  the 
Trinity,  as  prohibited  by  Scripture,  by  councils,  and  by 
many  personages  of  sound  wisdom  and  saintly  life.  They 
condemned  also  the  unseemly  and  licentious  carved  work 
which  often  profaned  ecclesiastical  buildings,  and  the 
representations  of  the  legends  of  those  saints,  both  male 
and  female,  whom  the  Church  rejected  as  apochryphal. 
They  were  content  to  abolish  the  adoration,  salutation, 
osculation,  investment,  and  coronation  of  images ;  the 
offering  of  vows  to  them,  and  the  processions  in  which 
they  were  carried  about,  whether  through  the  streets  or 
in  churches.  The  other  divines  admitted  that  there 
might  be  a  few  abuses  which  demanded  reform,  but  stoutly 
supported  the  necessity  of  retaining  images  altogether. 

Beza  in  consequence  presented  a  long  written  address 
to  the  queen,  in  which  his  main  argument  was  founded 
upon  the  second  commandment,  unlawfully  retrenched  from 
the  decalogue  by  the  church  of  Rome,  as  he  proved  on  the 
authority  of  the  fathers.  He  protested  against  any  mis- 
interpretation, which  might  represent  him  as  condemning 
painting  and  sculpture  in  general.  They  were  innocent 
and  even  necessary  arts,  when  not  employed  in  opposition 
to  religion  and  conscience  ;  but  the  danger  of  their  minis- 
tering to  idolatry  had  been  discovered  not  only  in  the  time 
of  the  writers  of  the  Old  Testament,  and  in  the  first  three 
centuries  of  the  Church,  but  also  by  the  wisest  legislators 
and  moralists  of  paganism.  Witness  Numa  and  the 
Lacedemonians  among   the   former;   Varro,  Horace,  and 


384  BEZA. 

Persius  among  the  latter.  He  then  critically  examined 
the  word  idol,  which  some  had  wished  to  restrict  to  images 
of  the  heathen  gods  ;  and  he  proved  by  reference  to 
Euripides,  Homer,  and  Virgil,  (if  in  agitating  sacred 
themes  he  might  be  permitted  to  name  such  profane  poets) 
that  u^ojXov,  ehcwv,  lyolufix,,  imago  and  simulacrum,  were  alto- 
gether synonymous.  These  philological  niceties,  he  con- 
tinued, are  little  however  to  the  purpose.  God's  prohibition 
of  idolatry  is  universal ;  and  if  images  be  worshipped, 
whether  by  pagans  or  by  Christians,  they  are  worshipped 
alike  in  direct  violation  of  the  Divine  Law.  It  is  idle  to 
urge  that  the  prohibition  delivered  in  the  Old  Testament 
relates  solely  to  the  Jews,  and,  as  a  part  of  their  ceremo- 
nial law,  is  abolished  together  with  the  rest  of  it :  those 
who  argue  thus  should  be  prepared  at  the  same  time  to 
prove  that  idolatry  was  a  sinful  tendency  peculiar  to  the 
Hebrew  nation  ;  whereas,  in  point  of  fact,  it  is  a  vice 
which  besets  human  nature  itself.  In  a  word,  the  com- 
mandment was  delivered  for  all  men  and  for  all  seasons, 
and  St  Augustine  has  well  said  that  so  far  as  it  is  concerned, 
we  are  now  the  Jews.  The  cherubim  on  the  ark  of  the 
covenant  have  been  cited  as  an  exception,  and  they  are  so. 
But  they  were  fashioned  after  an  express  injunction  from 
God ;  and  can  the  church  of  Rome  produce  any  similar 
injunction  for  any  of  its  images  ?  moreover,  the  ark  of  the 
covenant  was  deposited  in  the  sanctuary,  remote  from  the 
general  eye,  and  therefore  not  exposed  to  the  abuse  of 
adoration.  No  worship  was  paid  by  the  Jews  either  to 
the  sanctuary  or  to  the  altar,  any  more  than  to  the  fire 
which  blazed,  or  to  the  victim  which  burned  on  the  latter; 
and  the  romanist  who  affirms  otherwise  may  be  accused 
on  similar  grounds,  and  by  borrowing  his  own  argument, 
of  worshipping  the  Pig  of  St  Anthony,  the  Horse  of  St 
Martin,  and  the  Devil  of  St  Michael,  with  no  less  fervent 
devotion  than  that  which  he  offers  to  the  images  of  those 
saints  themselves. 

In  reply  to  the  customary  argument  that  honour  is  not 
directed  to  the  image  but  to  that  which  the  image   repre- 


BEZA.  385 

sents,  Beza  triumphantly  inquired  (and  the  inquiry  has 
never  yet  been  answered)  why  then  is  any  local  superiority 
admitted  ?  Why  is  one  image  considered  more  holy  and 
more  potent  than  another  ?  Why  are  pilgrimages  made 
to  distant  images,  when  there  are  others,  perhaps  of  far 
better  workmanship,  near  at  hand  ?  Again,  is  it  tolerable 
that  in  a  Christian  church  an  image  of  the  Virgin  Mary 
should  be  addressed  in  terms  appropriate  solely  to  the 
Almighty  Father,  "  omnibus  es  omnia  !"  If  the  Virgin 
were  yet  alive  and  on  earth,  how  would  the  humility  and 
lowliness  of  heart,  which  she  ever  so  conspicuously  evinced, 
be  shocked  by  the  hourly  impious  appeals  to  her  supposed 
maternal  authority  over  her  blessed  Son  ;  "  Boga  Pat  rem. 
jube  Natum  /"  "  Jure  Matris  impera  /"  Then,  adverting 
to  the  reputed  miracles  performed  by  images,  he  contended 
that  by  the  evidence  of  judicial  inquiries,  most  of  them 
had  been  indisputably  proved  impostures  :  and  even  with 
regard  to  such  as  remained  undetected,  it  was  detracting 
honour  from  God,  the  sole  author  of  miracles,  to  attribute 
any  hidden  virtue  or  mystic  efficacy  to  wood  or  stone. 
Passing  on  to  a  review  of  the  long  controversy  about 
images  maintained  in  the  Greek  church,  he  concluded  by 
affirming  that  not  less  idolatry  might  be  occasioned  by 
crucifixes  than  by  images  themselves  ;  and  the  only  part 
of  this  memorial,  distinguished  as  it  is  by  acuteness  of 
argument  and  soundness  of  learning,  in  which  we  per- 
ceive any  approach  to  special  pleading,  is  a  somewhat  too 
subtle  distinction  which  it  attempts  to  establish  between 
the  sign  of  the  cross  and  a  material  crucifix.  The  pro- 
positions appended  to  this  document  were  that  images 
should  be  altogether  abolished  :  or  if  that  measure  were 
thought  too  sweeping,  that  the  king  would  consent  to  the 
removal  of  all  representations  of  the  Trinity  or  its  separate 
Personages ;  of  all  images  which  were  indecorous,  as  for 
the  most  part  were  those  of  the  Virgin ;  of  such  as  were 
profane,  as  those  of  beasts  and  many  others,  produced  by 
the  fantastic  humours  of  artists ;   of  all  publicly  exhibited 

VOL.   II  2   K 


386  BEZA. 

in  the  streets,  or  so  placed  at  altars  that  they  might 
receive  superstitious  veneration ;  that  no  offerings  or 
pilgrimages  should  be  made  to  them  ;  and  finally,  that 
crucifixes  also  should  be  removed,  so  that  the  only  repre- 
sentation of  the  passion  of  our  Lord  might  be  that 
lively  portrait  engraved  on  our  hearts  by  the  word  of  Holy 
Scripture. 

If  the  suggestions  of  Montluc  and  his  party,  so  accord- 
ant with  the  propositions  of  Beza,  had  been  admitted  by 
the  general  body  of  the  Gallican  church,  this  conference 
seemed  to  promise  a  nearer  approach  to  union  than  any  of 
its  predecessors  ;  and  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  conces- 
sions to  which  the  moderate  Romanists  inclined,  were 
sufficiently  ample.  But  the  opinions  of  those  inveterately 
hostile  to  all  reform  ultimately  prevailed,  and  the  only 
result  of  the  discussion,  says  Beza,  was  that  each  party 
abided  by  its  own  opinion. 

Beza  had  converted  the  king  of  Navarre  so  far  as  to 
make  him  a  partizan  of  Calvinism  ;  but  the  royal  convert 
remained  as  profligate  when  a  calvinist,  as  he  had  been 
when  he  professed  Catholicism,  and  the  court  soon  found 
means  to  bring  him  back  once  more  to  the  established 
church.  His  hostility  to  Beza  was  shewn  at  an  audience 
Beza  had  with  the  queen  mother,  when  deputed  by  the 
Huguenot  ministers  to  lay  their  complaint  before  her, 
with  reference  to  the  violations  which  had  occurred  of  the 
edict  of  January,  to  which  allusion  has  been  made  before. 
The  king  of  Navarre,  sternly  regarding  Beza,  accused 
the  Huguenots  of  now  attending  worship  with  arms, 
Beza  replied,  that  arms,  when  borne  by  men  of  discretion, 
were  the  surest  guarantee  of  peace  ;  and  that  since  the 
transactions  at  Vassy,  (where  a  fracas  had  taken  place 
between  the  retainers  of  the  duke  of  Guise,  and  a  Hugue- 
not congregation,  the  duke's  people  being  the  aggressors) 
their  adoption  had  become  necessary  till  the  church  should 
receive  surer  protection;  a  protection  which  he  humbly 
requested,  in  the  name  of  those  brethren  who  had  hitherto 


BEZA.  382 

placed  so  great  dependence  on  his  majesty.  The  cardinal 
of  Ferrara  here  interrupted  him  by  some  incorrect  repre- 
sentation of  the  tumult  at  St  Medard;  but  he  was  silenced 
by  Beza,  who  spoke  of  those  occurrences  as  an  eye-witness, 
and  then  reverted  to  the  menacing  advance  of  the  duke  of 
Guise  upon  Paris.  The  king  of  Navarre  declared  with 
warmth,  that  whoever  should  touch  the  little  finger  of 
"  his  brother,"  the  duke  of  Guise,  might  as  well  presume 
to  touch  the  whole  of  his  own  body.  Beza  replied  with 
gentleness,  but  with  dignity:  he  implored  the  king  of 
Navarre  to  listen  patiently,  reminded  him  of  their  long 
intercourse,  and  of  the  special  invitation  from  his  majesty 
in  consequence  of  which  he  had  returned  to  France  in  the 
hope  of  assisting  in  its  pacification.  "  Sire,"  he  con- 
cluded in  memorable  words,  "  it  belongs,  in  truth,  to  the 
church  of  God,  in  the  name  of  which  I  address  you,  to 
suffer  blows,  not  to  strike  them.  But  at  the  same  time  let 
it  be  your  pleasure  to  remember  that  the  Church  is  an 

ANVIL    WHICH   HAS    WORN    OUT    MANY   A   HAMMER." 

Well  would  it  have  been  if  Beza  and  his  partizans  had 
always  remembered  this,  and  instead  of  taking  up  arms  to 
defend  their  cause,  had  maintained  it  like  the  primitive 
Christians  by  patient  suffering.  Perhaps  they  would  then 
have  led  to  the  gradual  reformation  of  the  church  of 
France,  whereas  now  they  took  the  sword,  and  perished 
by  the  sword.  Each  party  armed.  And  the  question 
was,  which  was  the  stronger,  each  being  prepared,  on  ob- 
taining the  ascendency,  to  persecute  the  other.  We  are 
not  to  suppose  that  the  Huguenots  were  greater  friends  to 
toleration  than  the  Catholics,  for  in  a  synod  assembled  on 
the  9th  of  March,  1563,  at  which  seventy-two  protestant 
ministers  attended,  they  demanded  that  the  king  should 
declare  himself  Protector  and  Conservator  of  the  confes- 
sion of  faith  presented  to  him  in  1561  ;  and  then  they 
pointed  out,  according  to  Mr  Smedley,  "  the  strong 
necessity  of  rigorous  punishment  being  directed  against 
all  heretics  and  schismatics,  whom  they  stigmatized  by 
the  names  of  Atheists,  Libertines,  Anabaptists,  and 
Servetists." 


388  BEZA. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  enter  into  a  detailed  account  of 
the  bloody  and  atrocious  actions  of  which  the  protestants 
were  guilty  in  seeking  to  gain  the  ascendency ;  or  of  the 
equally  bloody,  and  in  the  event,  more  atrocious  retalia- 
tions of  the  Catholics.  On  either  side  there  was  an 
incarnate  fiend.  The  enormities  of  Blaise  de  Montluc 
disgraced  the  Catholic  cause ;  while  the  protestant  cause 
was  equally  disgraced  by  the  cruelties  of  the  Baron  Des 
Andrets.  With  the  leaders  of  the  protestants  Beza  acted, 
and  he  was  kept  by  the  prince  of  Conde  near  his  person ; 
but  the  leaders,  for  the  most  part,  abstained  from  encou- 
raging the  cruelties  of  their  followers,  although  they  ex- 
cited the  people  to  rise  up  in  arms  against  the  government 
Beza  continued  with  the  insurgents,  following  the  prince 
of  Conde  in  all  his  marches,  cheering  him  by  his  letters 
when  in  prison,  and  reanimating  the  Huguenots  in  their 
defeats,  until  his  career  as  a  herald  of  war  was  terminated 
by  the  battle  of  Dreux.  At  that  battle,  fought  on  the 
19th  of  December,  1502,  in  which  the  Huguenots  were 
defeated,  Beza  was  present ;  but  he  did  not  engage  in  the 
battle,  he  was  merely  at  hand  to  advise  his  friends. 

In  the  following  February,  the  duke  of  Guise,  the 
lieutenant-general  of  the  kingdom,  was  assassinated  before 
Orleans  by  a  protestant  named  Poltrot.  When  the 
assassin  was  seized  and  examined  before  the  queen  and 
council,  he  accused  Beza,  among  other  leading  Huguenots, 
and  declared  him  to  have  been  privy  to  his  design.  Beza 
declared  that,  notwithstanding  the  great  and  general  in- 
dignation aroused  against  the  duke  of  Guise  on  account 
of  the  massacre  at  Vassy,  he  had  never  entertained  an 
opinion  that  he  should  be  proceeded  against  otherwise 
than  by  the  methods  of  ordinary  justice ;  for  the  attain- 
ment of  which  purpose  he  had  assisted  with  other  deputies 
from  the  protestant  congregations  in  presenting  a  memorial 
to  the  queen  and  the  late  king  of  Navarre.  He  admitted 
that  since  the  duke  had  commenced  the  war,  he  had  ex- 
horted the  protestants  both  by  letters  and  sermons  to  use 
their  arms  ;  but  he  had  at  the  same  time  inculcated  the 


BEZA.  389 

utmost  possible  moderation,  and  had  instructed  them  to 
seek  peace  above  all  things  next  to  the  honour  of  God ; 
taking  heed  that  they  were  not  deceived.  Moreover,  that 
since  he  esteemed  the  duke  of  Guise  to  be  the  principal 
author  and  fosterer  of  these  troubles,  he  had  numberless 
times  prayed  God  that  He  would  either  change  the  duke's 
heart,  (of  which  indeed  he  never  entertained  any  hope)  or 
else  that  He  would  deliver  the  kingdom  from  his  tyranny  : 
but  that  he  had  never  held  communication  either  by  him- 
self or  by  any  other,  with  Poltrot,  with  whom  indeed  he 
was  wholly  unacquainted.  In  the  act  committed  by  that 
person,  however,  he  recognised  the  just  judgment  of  God, 
menacing  similar  or  yet  greater  punishments  to  all  the 
confederated  enemies  of  His  holy  gospel,  who  are  the 
occasion  of  so  many  miseries  and  calamities  to  France. 
Then,  commenting  on  some  particular  phrases  which 
Poltrot  had  attributed  to  him,  he  expressed  a  willingness 
to  rest  his  defence  singly  upon  their  manifest  falsehood  ; 
for,  God  be  thanked!  he  was  not  so  ill  instructed  in  his 
duty  as  to  misapply  scripture  by  exhorting  one  who  de- 
signed to  commit  murder,  to  "  take  up  his  cross  even  as 
his  Saviour  had  taken  it  up ;"  and  much  less  did  it  accord 
with  the  doctrine  which  he  professed,  to  promise  any  man 
paradise  as  a  reward  for  his  works. 

After  the  peace  of  1563,  Beza  returned  to  Geneva,  and 
resumed  his  functions  of  professor  and  pastor.  On 
Calvin's  death,  in  1564,  he  became  virtually  the  head  of 
presbyte nanism,  and  sought  to  interfere  in  the  religious 
affairs  of  every  nation.  Indignant  at  the  manner  in  which 
Beza  abetted  the  puritans  of  England  in  their  schism, 
Bancroft,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  remarked  that  "  he 
wished  a  man  would  read  the  epistles  of  Leo,  sometime 
bishop  of  Rome,  and  compare  them  with  one  of  Beza's,  to 
consider  whether  took  more  upon  them,  Leo,  where  he 
might  command,  or  Beza,  where  there  was  no  reason  why 
he  should  at  all  have  intermeddled." 

Beza  did  not  return  to  France  till  1568,  when  he 
2  k-2 


390  BEZA. 

epaired  to  Vezelai  on  some  family  business.  He  visited 
his  native  country  again  to  attend  and  preside  over  a 
Huguenot  synod,  which  assembled  at  La  Rochelle,  in 
1571. 

Never  had  any  Huguenot  ecclesiastical  meeting  been 
attended   by  so  many  distinguished  personages  as  graced 
this  synod.     "  There  were  present,"  says  the  report  of  its 
acts,  "  Joane,  by  the  grace  of  God,  queen  of  Navarre  ;  the 
high  and  mighty  prince  Henry,   prince  of  Navarre  :  the 
high  and   mighty  prince   Henry  de   Bourbon,   prince  of 
Conde :    the    most    illustrious   prince    Louis,    count    of 
Nassau  ;  sir  Gasper   count  de    Coligny,    the    admiral  of 
France,  and  divers  other  lords  and  gentlemen,  besides  the 
deputies  who  were  members  of  the   Church  of  God."     A 
proposition  made  by  the   admiral  is  distinguished  by  its 
gentleness    and    charity ; — that    no    person    when    first 
reported  to  the  consistory  for  impropriety  of  behaviour 
should  be  mentioned   by  name  till  his  miscarriage  had 
been  proved.    The  queen  of  Navarre  was  warned  in  some- 
what imperious  language,  "  not  to  sell  her  vacant  offices, 
especially  those  of  judicature ;  nor  to  bestow  them  upon 
the    recommendation   of   another,    without    her  personal 
knowledge  of  their  qualifications   and  abilities  who  are  to 
discharge  them  ;"  and  to   a  question  which  she  proposed 
she  received  an  answer  manifesting  that  the  protestants 
were    animated   by    a   decided    spirit    of    exclusiveness. 
"  The  queen  of  Navarre  demanded  our   advice  whether 
through  want  of  others  she  might  with  a  good  conscience 
receive    and   establish    Roman    Catholic   officers   in   her 
dominions,  as  also  in  her  court  and  family.     To  which 
the  synod  humbly  replied,  that  her  majesty  should  take 
special   heed  about  her  domestic  officers,  and  as  much 
as  possible  employ  persons  fearing   God,   and  of  the  re- 
formed religion ;  and  that  she  should  cause  the  papists 
who  are  peaceable,   and  of  unblameable  lives,  to  be  in- 
structed, and  that  she  should  utterly  discard  those  traitors, 
who  forsook  her  in  her  necessities,  and  cruelly  persecuted 
God's  saints  in  these  last  troubles." 


BEZA.  391 

At  this  assembly  the  Huguenot  confession  of  faith  was 
confirmed,  and  two  copies  of  it  were  taken,  one  of  which 
was  deposited  at  Rochelle,  the  other  in  the  archives  of 
Geneva. 

After  the  execrable  massacre  of  St  Bartholomew;s-eve, 
Beza  honourably  exerted  himself  to  support  those  of  the 
French  whom  the  fear  of  death  drove  from  their  native 
land ;  he  interested  in  their  behalf  the  princes  of  Ger- 
many.    He  also  founded  a  French  hospital  at  Geneva. 

In  1572  he  assisted  at  an  assembly  of  the  Huguenots 
at  Xismes,  where  he  opposed  John  Morrel,  who  desired  to 
introduce  a  new  discipline.  The  prince  of  Conde  caused 
him  to  come  to  him  at  Strasburg  in  the  year  1574,  to 
send  him  to  prince  John  Casimer,  administrator  of  the 
palatinate.  In  1586  he  was  employed  in  the  conference 
of  ^lembelliard,  against  John  Andreas,  a  divine  of  Tubin- 
gen. Beza  desired  that  the  dispute  should  be  managed 
syllogistically  ;  but  he  was  obliged  to  yield  to  the  desires 
of  his  adversaries,  who  refused  to  be  confined  to  syllo- 
gisms. In  this  dispute,  as  in  so  many  others,  each  party- 
boasted  of  having  won  the  victory. 

In  1588,  she  who  had  lived  with  him,  first  as  his 
mistress,  and  then  as  his  wife,  for  forty  years,  paid  the 
debt  of  nature,  and  Beza  consoled  himself  before  the 
end  of  the  year  by  marrying  Catherine  de  la  Plane,  a 
widow  lady.  He  was  now  seventy  years  of  age,  and  his 
enemies  applied  to  the  septuagenarian  the  amorous  love- 
songs  which  first  rendered  his  name  popular,  and  of  which 
in  his  maturer  years  he  was  ashamed.  For  the  wife  of  his 
youth  his  affections  seem  to  have  grown  cold  ;  for  her 
death  did  not  deter  him  from  attending  the  synod  which 
about  that  time  the  calvinists  of  Berne  had  assembled. 
His  admirers  have  recorded  with  pleasure  the  care  which 
his  new  wife  took  of  him ;  and  of  his  own  gratitude  we 
have  the  proof  in  the  fact  that  he  left  her  all  that  he 
possessed  at  Geneva,  where  he  died  on  the  13th  of  Octo- 
ber, 1605,  in  his  87th  year. 

In  the   affairs  of  the  church  of  England   Beza,   as  we 


392  BEZA. 

have  before  seen,  had  the  presumption  to  interfere ;  and,  as 
he  had  acted  as  a  rebel  in  France,  he  encouraged  insubor- 
dination in  this  country.  The  puritans  consulted  him, 
and,  according  to  Strype,  they  craved  his  advice  in  two 
things  : 

I.  By  what  means  the  queen  and  bishops  might  be  ad- 
monished of  their  duty  ? 

II.  What  they  might  do  in  this  juncture  with  a  good 
conscience  ? 

Beza  seriously  deliberating  with  himself,  and  knowing 
the  queen  had  no  great  esteem  for  the  church  of  Geneva, 
and  that  she  and  the  bishops  had  an  honourable  respect 
for  that  of  Zurich,  resolved  to  write  to  Bullinger,  the  chief 
pastor  there,  and  to  give  him  an  account  of  the  state  of 
the  church  of  England,  and  to  excite  him  earnestly  to 
send  Gu alter  into  the  said  kingdom  to  the  queen  and  the 
bishops,  to  intercede  in  the  behalf  of  the  refusers,  and  to 
persuade  to  some  further  reformation  in  the  church.  And 
this  he  thought  would  happen  very  seasonably,  a  parlia- 
ment being  at  hand,  wTherein  matters  of  the  church  would 
be  transacted.  So  he  wrote  a  private  letter  to  the  said  Bul- 
linger, wherein  he  told  him,  How  the  miserable  brethren 
craved  the  counsel,  comfort,  and  prayers  of  those  churches, 
by  whose  charity  they  were  once  relieved,  and  hoped 
again  to  be  so.  He  confessed  that  some  of  them  were 
somewhat  morose  :  but  in  such  miseries,  he  said,  it  was 
hard  to  keep  due  bounds ;  and  since  their  aim  was  good, 
his  opinion  was,  that  their  importunity  was  to  be  excused. 
That  by  the  accounts  of  the  ecclesiastical  affairs  of  Eng- 
land, as  he  further  told  father  Bullinger,  popery  was  not 
cast  out  of  England,  but  rather  transferred  to  the  queen's 
majesty:  and  that  nothing  else  was  drove  at,  than  that 
what  had  been  lately  taken  away,  might  be  by  little  and 
little  restored  again.  He  thought,  he  said,  that  the  busi- 
ness had  been  about  caps,  and  such  external  matters ;  but 
that  the  controversy  was  much  different,  he  afterwards 
understood,  and  that  with  exceeding  trouble  and  sorrow 
of  mind.     That  when  the  outward  calling,  the  examina- 


BEZA.  393 

tion  of  doctrine  and  manners  preceding,  done  not  by  any 
one  person,  but  the  whole  company  of  the  brethren,  was 
as  it  were  the  basis  and  foundation  of  the  ecclesiastical 
ministry,  what  was  baser  and  more  irregular,  than  that 
liberty  the  bishops  took,  to  ordain  at  their  own  pleasure, 
not  those  that  were  called,  but  those  that  came  of  their 
own  accord  ?  And  presently,  without  any  place  appointed 
them,  they  approved  them  fit  either  to  serve,  as  they 
called  it,  or  to  teach.  And  at  length  they  called  whom 
they  pleased,  and  set  them  over  what  churches  they 
pleased,  giving  them  a  certain  instrument  for  a  price,  and 
interposing  an  oath  for  two  things,  viz.  that  they  should 
acknowledge  the  queen's  majesty  for  the  supreme  head  of 
the  Church  next  under  Christ,  and  that  they  would  follow 
the  laws  of  the  kingdom,  and  especially  the  book  of  the 
reformation  [meaning  the  liturgy]  and  all  the  rites,  and 
to  disallow  of  nothing  therein, 

As  for  ecclesiastical  discipline,  that  it  was  not  other- 
wise than  was  in  the  papacy  ;  that  in  the  place  of  a  pres- 
bytery lawfully  chosen,  they  had  their  deans,  chancellors, 
archdeacons,  officials,  who,  according  to  their  wills,  and  as 
it  useth  to  be  in  the  civil  courts,  pronounced  excommuni- 
cation jure  canonico,  even  for  pleas  of  money  and  such 
like.  Which  sentence  the  bishop,  or  his  official,  sent  to 
the  minister  to  be  read  in  the  church ;  and  this  to  hold 
valid,  until  they  come  and  agree  with  the  judge.  And 
the  same  course  was  taken  in  absolving  as  in  excommuni- 
cating. How  little  were  they  distant  from  the  law  of 
celibacy,  who  might  not  marry  wives  without  the  express 
letters  of  the  queen,  and  the  assent  of  the  bishop,  and 
two  other  justices  of  the  peace  ?  And  being  married,  they 
were  forbid  to  bring  their  wives  into  colleges,  or  within 
the  bounds  of  the  cathedral  churches,  as  though  they 
were  unclean.  That  not  only  the  revenues  of  the  benefices 
were  left  to  papists,  but  the  ecclesiastical  offices  them- 
selves, yielding  only  an  oath  to  observe  the  reformation. 
Insomuch  that  the  godly  brethren  were  placed  under 
many  unlearned  priests,   and  such  as  were  most  bitter 


394  BEZA. 

enemies  in  their  heart  to  religion,  and  were  forced  to  be 
subject  to  their  jurisdiction.  That  in  the  archbishop's 
court  were  publicly  set  to  sale  dispensations  for  non-resi- 
dence, pluralities  of  benefices,  choice  of  meats,  marrying 
out  of  the  appointed  times,  for  a  child  to  hold  a  benefice, 
and  other  things  of  that  nature ;  than  which  Rome  itself 
had  not  any  thing  more  filthy  and  unworthy.  That  bap- 
tism by  women  was  allowed  of  in  case  of  necessity.  That 
of  those  few  that  were  pure  preachers  of  the  gospel,  some 
were  put  out  of  their  livings,  some  thrust  into  prisons, 
unless  they  would  promise  to  approve  of  all  these,  and 
'not  to  gainsay  them  in  word  or  writing,  and  resembled 
the  priests  of  Baal,  by  wearing  square  caps,  tippets,  sur- 
plices, and  the  like.  Nor  was  this  all,  but  that  whatsoever 
hereafter  the  queen,  or  the  archbishop  alone,  pleased